Each year or so you hear a major news story about some large company in the world being hacked (you might remember last year’s Experian hack where vital info on countless millions of Americans was stolen).
Cyber Security is big business, as are cyber attacks. It’s a never ending war; one side trying to protect and the other side trying to break in. 90% of the cyber breaches are due to simple things like a weak password.
Each data breach in the USA costs over 8 million USD on average to “fix”.
Stolen passwords or “guessed” passwords are the most vulnerable part of online security. Passwords are such a problem that a lot of big tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are moving towards getting you to stop using passwords.
Think about it. If you’re anything like me, you have perhaps a notebook of 50 to 100 various passwords all written down because you know you should have a different password for everything. Right? I mean you’re not still using just one password for everything are you? That would be absolute lunacy. If anyone got your one password they would have access to everything; banks, stocks, computer, electric, sewer, water, gas, every email, all social media, your music, your cable, Amazon, eBay account, your family photos you store online in a cloud server somewhere, etc. I mean your entire online life gets compromised in one fell swoop! Absolutely terrifying isn’t it?
Now some people are going to use one password for multiple logins because they are lazy and foolish as heck. Did you know that hackers can figure out a typical 8-10 character “easy” password in a few seconds using hacking software?
Ok, now assuming you’re no foolish enough as to use one simple password using your favorite pet and your birthday or some other crazy thing like that, you have a notebook of passwords and there is no way you can remember 50 to 100 various ones. I am going to talk about a solution in a moment but first let’s consider how costly it all is.
Passwords are expensive! There are thousands of large companies in the USA alone. Many of these companies can have hundreds if not thousands of employees. Each employee contacts an IT help desk multiple times a year regarding password issues. Each call can cost anywhere from $10-50 depending on the length of time required to fix the problem. Problems can range from simply resetting or to something more labor intensive. Add it all up and we are talking very big money for every company and organization in America alone. Now try and add this up worldwide. You just soared into the billions of dollars. Remember, we are only talking employees. Imagine how much more money is spent solving customer password issues? Mind blown yet?
Microsoft alone spends over $2,000,000 a month just helping customers out with password problems. This is like $25M a year. For just one company you know of.
Solutions: There are two ways to solve these problems. I will give you the easiest one first. A quality password manager for yourself and your family, coupled with a quality password generator. Type in to your favorite search engine: “password manager” and you will find a dozen companies. Some are free (not always best) and some can be all the way up to $59 a year. Consider a few:
You might want to spend an hour or two when you have some spare time and take a careful look at the benefits and features as well as the cons of each of these various password managers. Some of them even have a free version or a free trial. I don’t want to steer you to the one I picked as it might not be the best for your needs. Really do a comparison shopping and see what you like and need most. Check out reviews online.
Be sure to use an ultra-high strength password generator also, perhaps something like grc.com to generate difficult passwords that cannot be easily hacked.
I believe having a password manager and a high strength password generator will be the best combo unless you want to go with biometrics. Face scans, fingerprint scans or iris scans can also confirm your I.D. You might already use this with your iPhone or Android smart phone? Or perhaps you have a newer notebook that uses a fingerprint reader and maybe even facial recognition also. You can also look into 2 step authentication methods as well. Making things double hard for hackers to ruin your life.
One thing is for sure, so consider this please. Every person that ever had their house broken into and all of their belongings robbed surely wishes that they spent a few hundred on an alarm system. In fact, that is usually when one gets purchased. Ironic, isn’t it?
If your online life is hacked, stolen, compromised and you spend countless hours trying to fix everything…. if your identity is stolen or your bank accounts and credit cards or even family photos are violated, you are going to wish you sat down for one hour shopping for a password generator and you’re going to wish you spent $20 a year to make things secure. Why not fix this problem before it hits you badly? Everyone needs a backup plan. Everyone needs online security. Keep you and your family safe this year.
Thanks for reading, till next time.