In the modern age, passwords provide us access to every aspect of our lives. From online bank accounts to medical records and private emails, they can be the only barrier preventing a hacker from stealing personal data. And although we live in a modern age of two-factor authentication and encrypted email services, billions of user records are stolen annually. According to the chief executive of specialist insurer Hiscox, in 2016 alone cybercrimes cost the global economy over $450 billion. What’s more frightening is more than 50 percent of 3,000 companies across the U.S., U.K. and Germany were noted as “ill prepared to deal with an attack.” There are a few reasons why so many online users are getting hacked, all stemming from the passwords we choose.
People are predictable. The average user create passwords that are personalized in some way to their lives because they are easy to remember. The downside of this is that online users are using words that hackers could probably find out by viewing their social media profiles or overhearing a public conversation. The average user has about 26 password-protected accounts but only has five different passwords across these accounts. Therefore users are incredibly vulnerable to hackers. Once a hacker determines one password, they can access multiple accounts.
So what can we do to protect our accounts? Creating a fool-proof password just takes a few extra minutes and could prevent data breaches and theft. Your password should be at least 14 characters and include a plethora of numbers, letters and special characters. Be sure to leave out any words you can find in the dictionary, and use your whole keyboard. For additional ways to keep your passwords secure, check out the password protection infographic from Panda Security below.[su_spacer]