Thursday marks World Password Day and a new survey has found that many internet users’ passwords aren’t as strong as they should be.
When it comes to passwords, many of us recycle them, use the same one for many different services or don’t try very hard to make them difficult, and according to security company Cisco Canada, that’s exactly what cyber criminals are hoping for.
“The attackers know this and they are searching for easy-to-guess passwords on a continuous basis,” Dave Lewis, a global advisory chief information officer at Cisco Canada, told CTV News Toronto.
According to the mobile security firm Lookout, these five passwords are the most often hacked:
A strong password should have upper and lowercase letters, and symbols. It should not be used on more than one website. With so many unique passwords it can be difficult to remember them all and that’s when a password manager can come in handy.
Consumer Reports has studied password managers in the past and found they can be a good option.
“With password managers, you only have to remember one password, your master password for the password manager” Bree Fowler with Consumer Reports said.
While some fear their password manager could get hacked, Lewis said the chance thieves could actually retrieve them is extremely doubtful.
“The chances of a password manager getting compromised is very low and even if it did the passwords are encrypted so the likelihood they could be reversed is very low,” he said.
Some other ways to protect your password security is to use multifactor authentication, use longer and stronger passwords, beware of suspicious password links and always use anti-virus security software.
Also, it’s important to be careful with what you’re sharing on social media, as hackers are always searching for clues to passwords, such as the names of children or pets.
“If your password is Fluffy123, there is a high probability a hacker can figure that out,” Lewis said. “However, if you’re using something that has a mix of different characters, the chances they can puzzle that out in short order is much, much lower.”
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