From your phone to your Facebook account, everything is password protected. Your credentials serve as the first line of defense against all forms of attempted cybercrimes. According to statistics, 30% of all ransomware attacks happen as a result of weak password protection. Furthermore, more than 80% of all hacking activities happen because of weak passwords.
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It is imperative to set a strong password to protect your personal and financial data online. As the statistics suggest, a weak password is a leading reason why fall victim to cybercrime. Keep reading to learn how to set a strong password and keep your account protected against potential threats.
Potential Cybersecurity Threats
Here are some of the most common cybercrimes to look out for.
In a phishing attempt, a scammer sends a false email by claiming to be an authority figure or a colleague in trouble. Cybercriminals try to get you to reveal confidential information or ask you to click on a link that installs a virus on your device. It is imperative not to share your username or password with anyone.
Hacking is the attempt to access someone’s device or account without his or her authorization. This can be done in two ways:
- Brute force attack: Manually trying different combinations of words and letters to hack into someone’s account.
- Computer program: An automated software tries many combinations to hack into an account.
Statistics estimate that nearly 81% of data breaches happen due to terrible password protection. If you are using an obvious password like 12345 or ABCDE, you are putting your device and account at risk.
People sometimes write their password down on a post-it and stick it to their work desk. This is wrong as other people can easily steal your credentials to commit fraudulent activity.
Setting a Strong Password
Here are some ways you can set a strong password for your devices and accounts:
Generating a Password
Keep these tips in mind when you are creating a password:
- A strong password is at least 12 characters long
- Make sure you include symbols, numbers, and a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters in your password
- Do not use simple terms like 12345 or ABCDE as your password. Cybercriminals can easily guess these.
- Do not use keyboard letter sequences as passwords (e.g. ASDFG, QWERTY, QWERTYUIOP, etc.)
Use Password Managers
It can be frustrating to remember a distinctive password for every website or account you have. However, do not set a weak password only out of the fear of not being able to remember it. Use a password manager. It will save your login credentials to every account so you would not have to remember them.
Avoid Unsecured Websites and Devices
Do not log into your personal or professional accounts on unsecured devices. These may be devices non-protected devices questionable Wi-Fi safety protocols and a lack of antivirus software. You should also avoid unsecured websites. Here is how you can tell a website is unsecured.
- It has only HTTP in its web address instead of HTTPS
- There is a typo in the website address
- It is selling products or services for ridiculously low prices
- Check for reviews online. If they are largely negative, it might be a fraud website
Change Your Password Frequently
Setting a strong password is not enough. You should change it every couple of months. This will help maximize password protection.
The internet has brought unmatchable levels of comfort to all aspects of our life. However, lurking in the dark corners of the internet are cyber criminals that can exploit weaknesses in your password security for their benefit. Remember the tips mentioned in the post. The cybercrime statistics may be scary, but you can protect yourself from being a victim of cybercrime by following proper protection protocol. Safe surfing!