Passwords: The Keys To Your Online Life

By John Burcham

When’s the last time you thought about your passwords? With over 90 billion passwords in existence today, the overall shift to online platforms and the boom in social media usage have made passwords an integral part of our daily online lives.

Whether it’s connecting to a game with a Facebook profile, sharing Netflix credentials with a roommate, or asking a spouse to check a bank account statement, sharing our passwords has become a trend that we don’t often realize is putting our information at risk.

Are we really expected to have a separate password for each of our numerous online accounts – and do all of them have to be ridiculously long, confusing and hard to remember? We’re instructed not to write them down or keep them on our mobile devices so… how are we supposed to keep track of them?

We get it. It’s a pain to stay on top of your passwords. Making sure they’re both secure enough to protect your information and easy enough to remember can be challenging. Unfortunately, hackers are also aware of this challenge and target login credentials to gain access to more of your personal information. To keep your sensitive information on lockdown, it’s now more important than ever to keep your passwords secure and away from the criminals trying to steal them.

Social media and stolen passwords

It’s probably easier to count how many people you know that don’t use social media than the ones you know that do. In 2005, Pew Research Center found that 10 percent of adults online used at least one social media platform. Today, that number has increased to 84 percent.

The 86 percent of users who limit the information they display on their profiles speaks to how frequently social media accounts are hacked. In total, 2016 saw 3 billion user credentials stolen. Broken down, that’s 8.2 million a day, or 95 cracked credentials a second.

Social media platforms have begun utilizing what is known as “social media logons” that allow users to access multiple applications or accounts with one set of login credentials. Dating apps like Tinder or games like Pokémon GO allow you to use their services by logging in through your social media accounts.

“Social media sites can lead users to believe their information and data are secure through a few self-selected security settings. But today’s cybersecurity criminals can often get around basic passwords and uncover personal information.”

– Dan Kozen, College of Information Systems and Technology, University of Phoenix

Since Internet users have an average of 25-35 different passwords each, using one set of login credentials for multiple accounts seems like an easy way to keep track of them, right?

Wrong. In fact, linking accounts under a single set of credentials makes it easier for hackers to gain access to more of your information. In cases like the LinkedIn and Myspace data breaches, stolen login credentials from one site were used to legitimately log into other accounts like Amazon, Netflix and eBay.

One security Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community

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