Protect Yourself with These Password Tips
Keeping your information secure from cyber criminals is a top priority for ICM. We continuously review security procedures to ensure we are following the best practices recommended by industry experts. While we feel we are taking clear and actionable steps in our security measures, cyber fraud continues to escalate, is constantly changing, and is becoming more sophisticated.
Did you know that the first Thursday of May each year is World Password Day? Research shows that despite the rise in data breaches and well known consequences of account takeovers, poor password habits are still relatively common, so we think this is the perfect opportunity to remind you to fortify your password habits.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau offer the following tips to make your passwords more secure:
Make your password long, strong, complex, and unique. Use as least 12 characters, mixed with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Use different passwords for different accounts so that if a hacker compromises one account, he can’t access other accounts.
Use multi-factor authentication, when available. Two-factor authentication is a second layer of security that requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in - the second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or token. This protects your account even if your login credentials are compromised.
Consider a password manager. Password managers relive the burden of having to memorize all the different, complex passwords you have created by managing them all in one “vault” and locking that vault with a single master password. Make sure to use a reputable password manager and protect it with a strong master password!
Select security questions only you know the answer to. Many security questions ask for information available in public records or online – e.g., zip code, mother’s maiden name, or city of birth. A motivated hacker could obtain any of this information. Additionally, don’t use responses that attackers can easily guess – like the color of your first car.
Change passwords quickly if there is a breach. If you are notified of a possible breach, change that password and any account that uses a similar password immediately.