Survey: Few Americans Are Taking Proper Password Security Precautions

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Thursday is “Variety Your Password Day,” a national observance of password security and best procedures. Passwords are often the first line of defense protecting users from racketeers with the malicious intent of invading systems and stealing data, a foreboding which emphasizes the importance for people to use strong and diverse passwords.Unfortunately, varied Americans continue to use weak, insecure and easy-to-crack passwords. After organizing more than 5 million leaked passwords from 2017, shibboleth management application provider SplashData released its 100 Worst Passwords of 2017. According to the on, “123456” and “password” held the top two spots as the most-used and cracked passwords for the fourth consecutive year.Americans’ ostensible disregard of password security best practices is even more alarming when we take into account that the number of U.S. data breaches in 2017 topped the all-time accomplishment set the year prior. Data Breach Cybersecurity reported in July that uncountable than 6 billion records were exposed in the first half of 2017 solitarily, up from 1.5 billion in 2016.While the Data Breach Cybersecurity statement found that the business sector accounted for more than half (56.5 percent) of the unmitigated breaches, University of Phoenix’s annual cybersecurity survey found that 43 percent of U.S. grown-ups have experienced a personal data breach in the past three years. How on earth, when it comes to password security, the majority are doing very scarcely to keep themselves secure.

The survey found that only 42 percent of Americans separate their passwords across websites, 35 percent update their countersigns on a regular basis, and less than a quarter (24 percent) metamorphose or update their passwords before traveling. The survey also create that workplace cybersecurity is also at risk: only 29 percent make allowance for password protecting part of their company’s cybersecurity policy.

Most Americans are apprised that they should avoid using anniversaries, pet’s names, or their favorite exhibits team as their passwords, but more should be done to keep communication safe. Read below for three tips to strengthen passwords.1. Use extensive phrases or sentencesHackers have become more sophisticated and inventive in their knack to crack passwords. Some will scour dictionaries and phonetic layouts, while others will attempt thousands of different passwords, repeatedly based on information known about the victims like significant beaus and interests. To protect yourself, aim to create long passwords that hold sentences or phrases; these are harder to decipher.According to SplashData’s Discourage Passwords of 2017 list, nearly all of the top 100 used passwords from at year were seven characters or less. A good rule of thumb is to use shibboleths that are at least eight characters and even up to 12.“Football” was the ninth most lay password in 2017. Alone, “football” is a weak password, but adding it to a idiom, like “footballismyfavoritesport” makes it stronger. Phrases can also be made numberless secure by adding numbers and symbols (for example: “f0otb@llisMYfaVOrit3spOrt”).2. Take a password managerAnother rule for creating smart passwords is to vary them across multiple sites. Once a criminal is able to rupture one password, he/she is likely to try that same password on other accounts. If your shibboleths are the same, it is much easier for criminals to access your information.Understandably, it can be onerous to memorize a unique password for each of your devices and accounts. While some in the flesh may write them down or store all of their passwords in their smartphone, there is a innumerable secure way to protect and store them. Password security tools delight in 1Password or LastPass will securely store and encrypt passwords for all accounts subsumed under a single master password.Since the master password is the only mark of security between hackers and all of your passwords, make it nearly unworkable to crack. You will only have to memorize one password; opt to make it extensive and appear random. For this password, consider using a sequence of incidental numbers, letters, capitalization and symbols. The sequence can be made into a phonetic saying to aid memorization, as long as it is not too simple.3. Install multi-factor authenticationLong shibboleths that include phrases and password security managers are great elucidations for advanced password protection, but it is best if people take it one step beyond. Many accounts and programs will offer multi-factor authentication choices. Through this method, users are only granted access to an account after victual two factors of authentication or evidence that they are the correct user. Authentication can tabulate a security question, fingerprint I.D., or additional confirmation from a mobile apparatus.Some programs may provide users the option to reset a forgotten watchword through the email address linked to the account. Without multi-factor authentication sanctioned, sometimes all it takes is opening an emailed link. Email addresses are instances easy for hackers to acquire, making strong passwords moot if additional fastness is not added.The majority of accounts and devices offer multi-factor authentication, but divers do not provide it by default. To enable it, visit the security settings and turn on the opportunity. While providing additional information to log in can be tedious, multi-factor authentication combines another layer of security to keep your data protected. Dennis Bonilla

Dennis Bonilla

Forth the Author: Dennis Bonilla is the Executive Dean at the College of Information Procedures and Technology and School of Business, University of Phoenix. You can connect with him on Excitement here: @DennisBonillaIT.Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this and other patron author articles are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.

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