Next time you create another password, pay a little more attention and make it a stronger more secure one! The goal is to prevent attackers from gaining access to your account and stealing your personal information.
Unfortunately, even though people may think this type of criminal activity is somewhat rare, identity theft statistics show that your chances of being affected might be much higher than you think. Identity theft is one of the most common consequences of data breaches.
In 2017, 1 in 15 people became victims of identity fraud, and 1 in 5 victims have had their identities stolen more than once. In other words, if your chances of winning the lottery were 1 in 15, like the odds of being an ID theft victim, we would all have family, friends and colleagues who were millionaires.
Although we can’t help you secure a future Lotto 6/49 prize, we can offer some thoughts on changing your odds when it comes to identity theft statistics.
Some good prevention tactics include changing passwords regularly, being cautious when putting personal information on social media and checking your bank and credit accounts frequently to spot fraudulent transactions.
Your password should be long, complex and unique. Here are additional steps you can take to help create strong passwords and secure your accounts:
Avoid common words or phrases
Don’t use the information available to others like your birthday, phone number, or Social Security number. Attackers often use a dictionary of previously exposed passwords and information gathered from the internet to help them guess a password.
Change passwords quickly if there is a breach
Attackers who steal data from companies often obtain password information. If you receive a notification from a company about a possible breach, change that password and any account that uses a similar password immediately.
Consider a password manager
Most people have trouble keeping track of all their passwords. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a password manager, an easy-to-access application that allows you to store all your valuable password information in one place. Use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager.
If you forget your password, most companies require you to answer security questions to regain access. Here are some tips to make sure an attacker can’t use your security questions as a way to get into your account:
- Select security questions where only you know the answer. Many security questions ask for answers to information available in public records or online, like your postal code, mother’s maiden name, birthplace. That is information a motivated attacker can obtain.
- Don’t use answers to security questions that can be guessed. An attacker can guess the answer to a security question that has a limited number of responses (dates, colours, Provinces, countries). Avoid questions like “What Province were you born in?” or “What colour was your first car?” which allows an attacker to guess all possible answers.
- Don’t give a generic answer to a security question. Find an answer to a security question that you will remember but is also more complicated than a generic word. For example, if the security question asks “What is your favourite childhood memory?” the answer “watching the Dodgers with my mom” is more secure than “baseball.”
Do you like these Tips? Call now to speak to one of our security experts.
or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a complimentary consultation.
Contributed by Erick Preza