Security Check by Del Peñano Dec 21, 2016 Importance of Good Password Management Did you know that the average person spends up to 11 hours a day online? We are either online checking our email accounts, banking, shopping or on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When it comes to protecting these accounts, most people do not have strong passwords which can leave an opportunity for cyber thieves to hack your accounts and access your personal information. This year, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO Facebook) told an audience that the average person spends 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger platforms. Did you know that Facebook accounts are hacked 600,000 times daily during user’s log-in? In fact, Facebook records 1 billion logins each day and .06% of those logins are compromised. This was first reported by a UK-based computer security firm, Sophos. That being said, how many of us have the same password for Facebook and all of our other accounts such as financial services, email account, etc? The above stats show that we need to have strong passwords to prevent or at least make it more difficult for cyber thieves to access your personal information. Today, cyber thieves use software programs that can generate password combinations of personal information, addresses, middle names and phone numbers. These programs are capable of thousands of login attempts per hour to gain access to your personal information and data. Yes, these thieves are using more advanced technology to steal your information or they can simply guess. Always protect your personal information and data by creating a solid layer of defense by having strong passwords(change every 90 days) and utilize a password management tool such as LastPass or 1Password. If available, you can also use two-factor authentication. Below are some interesting stats and tips when creating a strong password. Top 5 common passwords to avoid: Numeric passwords such as 12345678. Numeric passwords with numeric repeated digits such as 1111, 00000 or 202020. Using the word password or variations such as p@ssword or passw0rd. Using the word, Qwerty. It’s the first keys from the left on the top row of your keyboard. Sports names such as football, baseball, yankees, spurs and anything related to sports How to create strong passwords? Use 12 characters or more. Include a combination of numbers, symbols, capital letters and lower-case letters. Avoid dictionary words or combination of dictionary words. Example, “house” or “red house.” Don’t rely on obvious substitutions such as “H0use.” This isn’t strong because you’ve simply replaced with the o with a 0. Some interesting stats: Ninety percent of passwords generated by users are vulnerable to hacking. One Billion Yahoo email accounts was compromised(hacked) in August of 2013. This does not include the breach that occurred and affected 500 million users in 2014. Five Million Gmail passwords were hacked and released online in 2014. Hackers stole 77 million Sony Playstation Network passwords in 2011. The 2016 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, found that $15 billion were stolen from 13.1 million U.S. consumers in 2015 compared to $16 billion and 12.7 million victims a year earlier. In the past six years, cyber thieves have stolen $112 billion. Please keep your data safe by creating STRONG passwords!