Time to Revisit your Password

It is time to revisit your password because it may be susceptible to an easy hack. The risk of cyber loss is well documented.  We’ve routinely warned of these risks previously and, no doubt, will continue to do so because cyber losses are reportedly increasing, and the cost to recover from a data breach can be staggering.  All professionals maintain personally identifiable data that would be a goldmine to hackers.  Most professionals – hopefully all – at the very least utilize the most fundamental type of security by storing electronic data in a password protected format. But, according to a recent survey, that password may need an update.

“Man’s best friend does a terrific job of protecting your home. But when it comes to protecting your online accounts, your beloved pet is literally the worst choice possible.”

Google Apps recently conducted a study to obtain a clearer understanding of the methods to choosing account passwords.  The study revealed a troublesome fact: many passwords are based on easily obtainable information.  As a result, your account can be hacked based on a simple, educated guess.

Here is the list of the survey responder’s most often utilized passwords:

  1. Pet names
  2. A notable date (i.e. anniversary)
  3. A family member’s birthday
  4. Your child’s name
  5. Another family member’s name
  6. Your birthplace
  7. A favorite holiday
  8. Something related to your favorite sports team
  9. The name of a significant other
  10. The word “Password.”

So… do yourself a favor if your password is listed in the foregoing list: change it immediately! Since information such as birthdays, anniversaries and names can be easily located on social media, your password is not nearly as secure as you may think. For some best practice tips on developing a secure password, click here. Your clients depend on you to safeguard confidential information and routine maintenance of your password is an easy first step.

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