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Lock and Key: Understanding the Risks of a Weak Password

A weak password can cost $445 billion. That’s how much hacks cost globally last year. Weak passwords can cost you profits, repair costs, confidential information, and public trust.

It’s hard for some individuals or organizations to take password protection seriously. Many of us prefer simple combinations, like our middle name or 123456. There are so many things to remember these days, and a different password for each site is far too much to add to the list.

Different solutions, such as multi-factor authentication or biometric security, have been posited over the years. However, solutions are costly.

What Are the Risks of A Weak Password?

You may have been told to cup your hand over the machine when inputting your PIN after making a purchase. This prevents someone from looking over your shoulder and seeing it. 

The same is true for passwords. If yours is simple, it’s like watching someone log into their phone. After seeing them do it once or twice, you can easily guess what their password is.

Once someone gains access to your device, accounts, or password manager, it’s hard to come back from that.

Keyloggers also mimic the same process, but with a higher degree of accuracy. They store every single keypress made on the device. Sometimes, a keylogger may be installed already if you’re using a work device.

Or, a hacker may install one on your machine. This gives them access to every bit of confidential information you type.

Weak passwords can expose confidential information. This is a risk in your personal life because your home address can be known, bank accounts can be wiped clean, your credit score could be ruined, and more. It’s a massive violation of privacy that can wreak havoc on your personal and financial life.

It’s also a safety risk. Many accounts, such as with businesses that you’ve shopped online with, have your home address stored with that account. If a hacker finds your home address, what can they do with it?

If a hacker can see you’ve purchased a lot of expensive items recently, they may target your home in a robbery. Often, digital safety can have a real impact on personal safety as well!

Combating Weak Passwords

One of the primary ways to protect your passwords is by reducing human error with a password vault. Often, hacks are facilitated by trust, gullibility, and a rush to get things done. People sometimes make snap decisions at the moment that they wouldn’t have made if given more time.

For instance, one-third of hacks last year was accomplished by phishing. For instance, you may receive an email from your bank that looks legitimate. You click on the link, which takes you to your bank account’s log-in page.

Then, you’re prompted to input your username and password to view your account. This seems like a normal process to access your account, right? 

Just like that, a hacker can gain access to your bank account. By looking more closely at the email, you might have seen that a few words were misspelled. The logo was off.

These are tiny cues but are often symptoms that something is indeed amiss.

However, human vigilance can only go so far when it comes to password protection. There’s a better way when it comes to password storage and management.

Investing in Password Protection

Strong passwords are everything, and the definition of ‘strong’ has altered a lot as the digital world has grown. For instance, a strong password used to include a capital letter and a number. Now, it’s so much more complicated than that.

Take a keyboard smash password, for example: J-0!eiohRWe5/-! As far as passwords go, it contains capital letters, special characters, numbers, and nothing particular or personally identifying.

It’s perfect, right? There’s only one issue: you might never remember it. That’s where a password manager comes in.

There is password management software that can be installed on your devices. But for the sake of discussion, some web browsers come with built-in password management.

Google Chrome, for instance, has this capability. When you type up a new password, a pop-up will ask if you want Google to save it. If you select yes, your information will be stored.

When you want to view your passwords, you can go to your Google account. Then, you’ll need to type in your device’s password so that you can see passwords associated with each account.

Use a Password Vault

As you can see, there is one fatal flaw with this approach. If someone figures out one single password, they suddenly have access to all of your passwords. This can be a fatal blow to your security, especially if your device password is easy to figure out.

The best password manager has layers of security. Sometimes this equals multi-factor authentication and biometric security levels. When it comes to protecting your password, a layered Swiss cheese approach is everything.

Investing in password vault software is be a good idea. It mimics the idea of writing your passwords down on a piece of paper and storing it inside a locked, fireproof box.

The best software combines two-factor authentication, auto-login and auto-generator password capabilities, and file/password sharing. This approach combines security and convenience in a way that makes your life easier.

Changing up the game is also important when it comes to security. One popular security measure is to require users to change logins regularly. This will prevent old logins from presenting vulnerability after years of repeated sign-ins.

With LogMeOnce, you can select the device you’d like to regularly update sign-ins on. Then, you can customize how you’d like to do this. Whether you want to change it hourly, or whether you prefer to do it on every other sign-in attempt, we’ve got you covered.

Invest In Your Security

Passwords are a key part of your security system, whether you’re trying to protect your personal finances or an entire organization from the risks of a weak password.

With LogMeOnce, you can do that in a convenient, secure fashion. Contact us today so we can provide a customized solution for your needs!

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