Some people are just asking to have their identities stolen. If your password is personal and simple, written down next to your computer, used on multiple sites, and shared with others; then you might as well leave your car unlocked, in the bad part of town, with your keys in the ignition, and your life savings in the back seat.
As we become more dependent on the internet to handle our finances and share our personal lives, password security has become increasingly important. 2012 has been an especially bad year for password theft, up 300% from 2010 according to a study by SecurityCoverage. This study also reports a 67% increase in data breaches, and a person who has their personal data compromised is 9.5 times more likely to be a victim of identity theft.
Hackers prefer using stolen passwords to break into accounts, primarily because the password and login combination are generally the only line of defense. Password management software is a great solution that enhances password security. There are several different password management solutions available, the most secure solutions requires multi-factor authentication and stores your data to a cloud. These additional protections go way beyond the standard password/login formula.
Password management software is also incredibly convenient, helping you manage your multiple and complex passwords used over your many accounts. You now only have to remember one all-powerful password to access all of your other passwords–make sure you pick a good one! There are several password manager solutions available on the market, each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Although, every solution does have one thing in common, they are all better than a sticky note on the computer monitor.
Next time, we’ll talk about a few different password management solutions to help you keep track of all of your accounts without having to rely on simple, compromisable passwords.