Do Your Part to Stay Safe Online and Start Using a Password ManagerAaron Louks
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 is about taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. One of the best ways you can do this is by practicing good password hygiene – creating unique passwords that are changed frequently for each of the different services you use. However, because it can be a daunting task to keep track of all your credentials, people often make their passwords short, easy to remember and reuse them.
Google, in partnership with Harris Poll, surveyed 3,000 people from 16-50+ and found that 65% reuse the same password for multiple, if not all, accounts – including business and personal. Another survey found that 53% haven’t changed their password in the last 12 months, even after hearing about a breach in the news, and that fear of forgetfulness and maintaining control of passwords at all times are the two main drivers of reuse.
Threat actors take advantage of passwords as a weak link to takeover accounts and steal valuable data. The 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report found that over 80% of breaches resulting from hacking involved brute force or credential theft and reuse. And with more than 15 billion stolen credentials available to threat actors according to a new report by Digital Shadows, passwords are easier than ever to obtain. They also have the added benefit of bypassing security controls because they appear to be legitimate user logins.
In this type of environment, using a password manager is the best decision you can make. It will simplify your life while also decreasing your risk exposure.
Here are some other benefits:
- Remember Only One Password: You only need to remember a single master password to access all of your accounts.
- Generate Random Passwords: Password managers can create sufficiently complex credentials that current password crackers won’t likely be able to break.
- Login to Accounts Simply: Once you sign up for a password manager, you can install a browser extension that will autofill logins for you while still storing them securely. It’s also just as easy to copy the password into your clipboard.
- Easily Change Your Passwords: Password managers allow you to easily change passwords. If a website you have an account with has been hacked, you can stay secure by using a built-in password generator to create a new password.
- Store More than Just Passwords: You can store any type of text information securely – addresses, phone numbers, answers to security questions. It’s up to you!
- Use the Same Password Manager across Multiple Devices: Your credentials are automatically synced on all your devices, so that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about.
There are several password manager options on the market, so I encourage you to consider using one if you’re not already. It’s more secure and takes less effort than trying to manage this on your own. And given it’s Cyber Security Awareness month – there’s no better time than the present!