Recent Cyber Security industry statistics show that weak, default, or stolen passwords are involved in up to 80% of data breaches each year.
Passwords figure prominently in many areas of our daily functions such as logging onto work computers, doing online banking, sending email, accessing social media accounts and making most online shopping possible. A consistent, clear, repeated warning from Cyber Security experts and insiders is: creating complex passwords (i.e. comprised of both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters) that are unique and lengthy is one way to ensure safe online activity.
Practicing healthy Cyber Security hygiene by implementing unusual passwords is outstanding in theory; it's just that the average person has multiple password-protected accounts. Remembering which password aligns with each one of those accounts can be a challenge. That's why using a password manager is helpful.
Advantages of Password Managers:
- It provides a centralized password storage location (i.e. vault) – with only a master password to remember.
- It is able to automatically generate strong passwords for all of your accounts requiring a password.
- It is equipped with strong encryption, which protects your vault.
- It can simultaneously support multiple devices.
- It offers the ability to safely store other sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, in the vault.
- Research and choose a reliable Password Manager.
- Choose a long and complex Master Password (Remember, with a Password Manager, you only need to remember one).
- Be sure to take precautions to remember your new Master Password such as selecting one that has meaning to you but does not necessarily lend itself to hackers.
Note: This is important because most providers have little or NO ability to assist you with finding/resetting a lost or forgotten Master Password.
- Begin using your Password Manager as soon as possible and migrate all of your existing passwords to it.
There are several good, highly-recommended options to choose from such as LastPass, Keeper, Dashlane and 1Password. Be sure to research each of the tools you are considering before making your decision to ensure that you are comfortable with the features and capabilities of the password manager you ultimately pick.
HBK can assist you with questions on this or any other Cyber Security topic. For more information, contact William Heaven at WHeaven@hbkcpa.com.