Privacy and Password Management
Around the world, there has been an increase in reports of data breaches and hacking activities. According to Verizon's 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, over 80% of data breaches are the result of hackers using lost or stolen credentials, or involving “brute force attacks” that use trial and error to crack passwords, login credentials, and encryption keys. Users are encouraged to regularly reset account passwords, and keep accounts secure:
- Use multi-factor authentication: Add a layer of protection to the sign-in process by providing additional identity verification such as scanning a fingerprint or entering a code received by cell phone.
- Random passwords are the strongest: Avoid passwords based on words found in the dictionary. For example, shopping1 would be a weak password.
- Modify easy-to-remember phrases into strong passwords: For example, chose a line from a song, and then use the first letter from each word, substituting numbers for some of the letters. For example: “Take me out to the ballgame” could become “Tm#02TbG!”.
- Use different passwords for each account: Using strong, unique passwords for each of your account protects your other accounts if one of them is compromised.
- Do not write down passwords: do not place written copies of passwords near your computer or put them in the trash.
- Use a password manager: Use an app or program that securely manages all your usernames and passwords.
- Switch it up: Change your passwords often to protect your accounts.
Please take these precautions to protect your online accounts and help keep personal information secure. These tips, plus much more can be found on the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website.