Your favorite password probably isn’t safe. As you can see in the cartoon above, we’ve all been using passwords that are hard for us to remember and easy for computers to guess.
It’s never been more important to have strong passwords. As you likely already know, credit reporting agency Equifax has been hacked. If you haven’t already, you should take these steps to protect yourself immediately. That aside, who’s to say someone logging into your bank account with your correct information and password isn’t you? It’s imperative that we all do the best we can to protect ourselves as hacks similar to this one seem to be happening left and right.
Creating strong passwords and remembering them is a pain, but I promise it is less painful than finding out someone has stolen your identity. Just last month, a person in Russia hacked into my eBay account and purchased an iPhone and some clothing. He then tried to get the shipping address changed.
It made no difference to Viktor Petryashin that I hadn’t used my eBay account in years. He cracked my old password from middle school “Awesome7” and went on a shopping spree.
The best way to protect yourself? Use a password manager. You can check out the best here. Most will create complex passwords for you, save them for easy copy/paste and utilize browser extensions to automatically type them in for you. All you need to remember is one strong master password. Then you can let the password manager handle the rest. Once it’s set up, clear the saved passwords from your browser and never save them there again.
Remember, these common password set-ups are NOT okay.
It feels less and less likely that our data is safe online. If these major companies can be hacked, what’s to stop anyone from hacking me? Our last line of defense is a strong password.
You wouldn’t install a home security system and leave the safe wide open. Protect yourself.