It seems like every website I visit requires a password these days. It can be tough keeping up with different passwords for all of those accounts, but what would be even tougher would be dealing with the fallout if my accounts were ever hacked and my personal information stolen. In this digital age, access to our entire lives and financial well-being is just a few keystrokes away. For bad guys, that means a wealth of information to do bad. For you, that means being ever vigilant with access to your accounts, cryptic passwords and monitoring your digital identity to keep the bad guys at bay.
My husband has long emphasized the use of crazy complicated passwords. With a combination of letters, numbers and special characters we take great care in creating challenging passwords that I can (hopefully) remember. Why go to such lengths? Because for every character and special character you add to your password, the harder it makes for hackers to get through.
- If you have 6 characters in your password with no symbol, it takes a professional only .000224 seconds to crack your password
- If you have 10 characters and one symbol in your password, it takes up to 20 days for a professional to crack your password
Yet there are many people who still use these Top 10 Most Common Passwords.
I hope that you don’t secretly realize your password is in the Top 10. If it is, please take a moment to change it now. It could help protect you from being among these staggering statistics:
- The average cost per person of having identities stolen is $1,513
- 11.6 million adults were victims of identity fraud in 2011 and a total of $18 billion was lost
- 6.6% of victims are smartphone owners
- 6.8% of victims are social media users who click on applications
- 8.2% of victims are social media users who have “checked in” using their smartphone GPS
- 10.1% of victims are LinkedIn users
Cryptic passwords are only the first line of protection from hackers. The only way to quickly know that there has been a breach in your security is to monitor your accounts and identity 24/7. For those who don’t have the time to do that ourselves (isn’t that all of us) LifeLock is an identity protection service that you can put to the task of monitoring your identity 24/7. The service monitors, scans, responds, guarantees and tracks your identity and credit score to make sure you are the first to know if there is ever a breach.
Don’t fall victim to a hacker. Change your passwords frequently with a set of letters, numbers and special characters. And don’t use the same password for every account. For more information about adding LifeLock as an additional level of protection follow LifeLock on Facebook.