Between Cinco de Mayo, Star Wars Day and Mother’s Day, World Password Day on May 3 has a lot of competition. Granted, World Password Day doesn’t have the same cachet, but it is the only day that serves as a reminder to tighten up the passwords to any online account containing personal and sensitive information, such as your bank account.
The average person will manage 207 online accounts by 2020, according to password manager app Dashlane. Adding to the complexity of maintaining an online presence is managing all of those passwords. If your password is not strong enough, your personal data could be at risk. According to Pew Research Center, 64 percent of Americans have personally experienced a major online data breach. And, in 2017, $16.8 billion was stolen from U.S. consumers as a result of online criminal activity, per a 2018 report from research-based advisory firm Javelin Strategy & Research.
Click to read more about ways to make your accounts more secure.
The good news is that measures and safeguards are available to help prevent personal financial information from floating around the web and into the hands of hackers. Celebrate World Password Day by securing your financial information.
Forget Passwords and Adopt Passphrases
Each passphrase you create should be at least 20 characters using a mix of upper and lowercase letters and symbols and shouldn’t be found in the dictionary or be recognizable like a quote from a favorite movie.
Unlink Your Accounts
Linking accounts, like Google and Facebook, provide a seamless user experience, but it also provides hackers a cascading chain into a user’s other accounts. For security’s sake, consider unlinking your accounts.
Use Two-Step Authentication
Two-step authentication for financial information is a must. This form of authentication forces account holders to correctly input a password and a unique code, typically sent over text, email or phone, to gain account access.
Give the “Wrong” Answer
Many sites incorporate security questions as well, but devious hackers have outfoxed the system using information found on social networking sites. With a little digging, a hacker could easily find the answers to his prey’s security questions. Best practice dictates to create alternative answers to security questions.
Try a Password Manager
For an extra layer of security, download a password manager like Dashlane, 1Password or Passpack and let the app do the heavy lifting. Password managers can generate strong passwords, safely secure your existing passwords and are unlocked with a single password.
Click to read about mindless ways you’re putting your identity at risk every day.