Weak Passwords Can Cost You Everything
If your computer or mobile was hacked or your passwords were cracked and your data was lost or if all the websites you have an account with were hacked and all that information was the hands of a criminal, how devastated will you be?
In McAfee’s study on the value of digital assets, consumers estimated the total value of all their digital assets on multiple devices at an average of $35,000. Digital assets include: music downloads, videos, photos, apps, emails, text messages, health/financial/insurance records, resumes/CVs, portfolios, contacts, recipes, etc.
Nowadays, if you’re shopping, banking or using social media sites online, you need a user name and password. If you’re like most people, you probably take the easy way out and use the same user name and password for every new site you access.
The challenge is that some sites let you use numbers and symbols in your password and some don’t, or the user name you want may be taken. And an even bigger problem is with all those valuable assets we store on our devices, you are leaving yourself open to exposure by using the same password everywhere—if one account ends up getting hacked, all your accounts could be hacked.
Did you know that?
Over 60% of us have 3+ digital devices
55% of us store digital assets on these devices that would be impossible to recreate, re-download or re-purchase
Over 75% of us visit 5 or more sites regularly that require passwords
63% of us use easy to remember passwords or use the same password for most sites
17% of us do little to nothing to protect our passwords
You need a better plan
Make sure you use different passwords for each of your accounts
Always log off if you leave your device and anyone is around and don’t use the “remember me” function on your browser or mobile apps
Avoid entering passwords on computers you don’t control (like computers at an Internet café or library) or when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections (like at the airport or a coffee shop)
Don’t tell anyone your password—your trusted friend now might not be your friend in the future
Depending on the sensitivity of the information being protected, you should change your passwords periodically, and avoid reusing a password for at least one year.
Use comprehensive security software on ALL your devices (not just your PC!), like McAfee®LiveSafe™, that comes with a password manager that securely stores your usernames and passwords to your favorite sites, and logs in for you—with just one click
Here’s some tips on how to create a strong password. Remember, your password is often your first line of defense—protect yourself!
And don’t forget to play The $35,000 Question game on Facebook for a chance to win some prizes, while learning about protecting your digital assets!
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.