Ahhh…the sounds of kids running through the house, excited to see what Santa has brought them. (If I hear those sounds, I’m calling the cops. Either they’re in the wrong house or I am as my youngest is 27 now.) And with all the gifts, there is sure to be one that will become the bane of your existence. Why? Because it means you’ll have to set a password – several of them.
But you won’t. Your password sucks. It does. Be honest.
You’ll pull out your favorite password and use that for everything. Banking, email, Facebook, Twitter…and then when your account is depleted or Facebook is hijacked (OMG! OMG! OMG!) you blame the tech and the tool. You blame everyone and everything except the one person solely responsible for your own personal security online. Yes. You guessed it. You.
The worst password of all? 123456. It’s rank last year (2014)? #1. It’s rank in 2013? #1. It’s predicted rank for 2015? #1. The second worst password? Password. You can’t make this stuff up.
The good news is several companies are finally doing something about this. Yahoo introduced “Yahoo Account Key”. No more passwords. Instead, since smartphones and new smart watches are so popular, Yahoo instead sends a notice to the device asking you to verify your identity. (Yeah – I know. Someone will figure out how to hack that. Save it for a later post.) Google is also working on a similar plan. Google, by the way, also has two-factor authentication (2FA) available for their many applications. I use Authenticator for several services besides email. Here’s a video I did explaining how to use 2FA.
Some of the most devastating attacks on companies, governments and people all began with stealing a password. To learn more, and not become the next victim, download the “2015 [Interactive] Holiday Guide to Identity Security”.
Until then…Shields Up!