One thing that is often overlooked by online users is the safety of the passwords that they use to access everything from email and social media accounts to bank accounts. If personal information is obtained by a hacker it can be used to wipe out entire bank accounts and pave the path for expensive shopping sprees on the cardholder’s dime.
According to a recent article, the United States’ Cyber Command is set to quadruple in size by 2015 with an additional 4,000 personnel who will handle cyber related crimes. With global losses from cyber-crime ranging from $80 billion to $400 billion per year, the additional manpower will be needed.
Luckily there are steps that users can take on their own to help ensure their personal information and other online accounts stay safe in the event that a hacker does obtain pieces of information.
Do not reuse log in information for any sensitive accounts that have access to your financial records (example: banks, credit cards, PayPal, Ticketmaster, etc.)
- Never use your name in a password
- Change your password every three months
- Always change the default password that accounts provide you
- Never use 12345 as a password
- Never use password as your password
Get creative. Use words that nobody would ever think to use.
Most of us live our lives online and it is so easy to think “it will never happen to me.” But with large companies like LinkedIn and Adobe being hacked, it really can happen to anyone. The key is to stay diligent with password security and to monitor financial accounts for unauthorized use.