We have all heard password security says we should change our passwords regularly. We also should not ‘reuse’ passwords on different sites. This is sound advice but how many people really follow it. The numbers are shocking. Surveys taken consistently show that over 90% of people know they should not reuse passwords between sites but up to 83% still do.
A survey by Cyclonis confirms these numbers stating “an astounding 83.15% of respondents said they use the same password for multiple sites. …a small but shocking amount of users, 2.20%, said they use the same password for every single website.” You can read the full article at Cyclonis. They also have a nifty tool you can use to see how well you may or may not be doing regarding your password strength and reuse habits.
Businesses need to pay special attention to their password policies. According to an article on Security Boulevard almost 50% of people say there is no difference between the passwords they use at home and those they use at work.
Following a few simple rules can keep your personal information secure.
- Longer passwords are better. Make sure they are over 8 characters minimum
- Use Numbers, Special characters and Upper and lower case letters.
- Replace letters with numbers or special characters. i.e. 3 for E, 5 for S, ! for i
- Change your passwords regularly.
If you need a bit more encouragement think about it this way. First, if you reuse passwords or even just add a letter or number at the end it does not take any time to crack those passwords. You have to remember time is on the bad guys side. They can just sit back and let their computer do the work, even if it takes their password cracker days to crack.
If they get your email password they have access to all of your emails that have not been deleted. So that probably includes links to your bank, school, work, your kids school and other activities as well as possible purchases you have made.
Once they have the right information you are owned! The majority of people discover identity theft within 3 months but up to 15% of people don’t find out for more than 3 years. The cost to fix everything is tremendous. Not only financial burdens that can escalate to the millions and bankruptcy, there is also emotional stress. In addition you can count on missing days from work and possibly even lawsuits. Your credit will likely suffer as well and is something that you will be paying for for several years after you get everything straightened out.
Most of these problems can be solved or avoided by using a Security Awareness Program that includes a Password policy that can be easily implemented.
Safeguard your business with a Security Awareness Program that will help protect your business and show your employees how they can protect their families too. Contact us HERE