Strong Passwords: Key to Securing Your Identity

Digital Guardian reports that consumer password security habits are improving slightly, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. According to their survey findings, 62% of consumers, averaged across all age groups, still reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Only 56% report using complex passwords and 48% use two-factor authentication.

Why are good password habits important? In short, they are the gateway to identity. According to Carly Okyle, Entrepreneur.com, “90% of employee passwords are crackable within 6 hours”. If this is true for the employee, it’s true for all consumers. Diligence with passwords can help you avoid identity theft, scams and possible loss of funds – a headache that no one needs. How can you improve your password security? Take a look at the password tips listed below.

Top 10 Passwords Not to Use

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. qwerty
  6. 123456789
  7. 1234
  8. baseball
  9. dragon
  10. football

Source: BBB.org

How to Make Your Passwords Stronger

  • Create passwords that are at least 8-10 characters in length. Be sure to include upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters like!|*@.
  • Change your passwords frequently. Avoid simply changing a number or substituting a number for a letter – i.e. hack3r.
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. If a hacker compromises one of your accounts he will have access to all of those with the same password.
  • Avoid using birth dates or the names of your children, spouse, or a favorite pet. This information can be easily obtained from social media or other online resources.
  • Never share passwords with anyone.
  • Use a password manager to help store them securely. Avoid storing passwords in an unencrypted email.
  • Opt for two factor authentication to access your accounts, whenever possible. This will provide an extra layer of security to help keep corporate and customer data safe.

Sources: BBB.org, Stay Safe Online, Digital Guardian.

For more password tips and statistics, go to Password Statistics: The Bad, the Worse and the Ugly (Infographic) and Why Your Password is Hackerbait (Infographic) .

Also check out Passwords & Securing Your Accounts at Stay-Safe-Online.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker.

To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.