We can’t ignore that most of the things these days are digitized. We bank online. We shop online. Today were are working, learning and entertaining all online. It goes with out saying that, digital protection is important in our daily life. Every single person has at least one password in the digital world, for receiving and sending emails, for using social media platforms etc.

Why is it necessary to have a strong password?

According to one research, 50% of the population is connected with the digital world and uses the same password for multiple accounts. This behavior puts accounts at risk of being hacked. Did you know that when a data breach happens, your login credentials and passwords are sold to cyber-criminals on the darknet? Further, these criminals try to use login credentials to access as many accounts as possible because they know that most people use the same password for multiple accounts.

Studies have shown that we are still using weak passwords that are easy to crack. One attack criminals use to access your information is a brute force attack. In this type of attack, automated software is used to try different combinations of usernames and passwords until it finds one that works. Dictionary attacks are another method used to gain access to your data. Criminals enter dictionary words commonly used for passwords. We will go into creating a strong password later…

It is risky to use the same password to protect multiple accounts. If you are a victim to a breach, more of your accounts and information could vulnerable. It is also recommended to change passwords and logins regularly and change them immediately if you feel that you may have been involved in a breach.

Phishing attacks, what are they?

This attack is executed by a hacker to obtain information like username, passwords and even credit card and banking information. Recently our subscribers received an email claiming to be from the Peoples billing department requiring immediate payment to avoid disconnection. We have seen phishing attacks using large corporations such as Apple and many financial institutions. Phishing emails have advanced and look like legitimate emails. It is one of the most common internet scams.

How you can avoid phishing attack?

First, look at the sending address. Companies typically include a portion of their name in email addresses. Also, look for typos including grammar. Be very cautious about attachments and links. If you have any doubts, contact the company directly to verify. Make sure that if you do, do not use any phone numbers provided within the email.

What are weak passwords?

Avoid using your personal information in your passwords. Criminals can stalk your social media accounts and find personal information and then use it to guess in your passwords. Never use the following in your password, sequential number such as ‘1234567’, ‘qwerty’ or ‘password’. Here are some more items that make for weak passwords:

– Your own name or the name of any family member

– Your birthday

– Your pet’s name

– Words related to your hobby

– Yours home address or part of it

How can you create strong passwords?

– Generate password consisting of at least 16 or more characters.

– Use combinations of numbers, special characters and both uppercase and lowercase letters.

– Avoid using any word related to yourself or the service the password is protecting.

– It is important to use two-factor authentication wherever possible.

Security question protection

Another way to keep your information safe relates to your security questions. Criminals are ruthless. The popular ‘I’ll play…’ games on social media are a treasure trove from scam artists looking to steal your information or identity. For example, some of the security questions for your Peoples account include your high school mascot, the first concert you attended and the color of your first car.

Be safe, be vigilant and NEVER use password as your password. 😉