How an Increase of Passwords is Creating Increased Cyber Risk
Lock screens, email accounts, social media profiles, phone applications — the number of programs and tools we use rely on are grows every day. And, for each program, ideally, should be a unique password.
According to Emmanuel Schalit, head of password security company Dashlane, the average consumer of digital technology has about 200 accounts that require passwords or some other kind of identification. Schalit also estimates that in just five years, the number of unique passwords we could be responsible for should balloon to about 500.
What does that mean for password management strategy?
The Risk of Growing Accounts
The growth of accounts poses a problem for many users. An abundance of passwords can be difficult to create and remember, which makes it more tempting to ignore best practices for password creation.
Repeating passwords across multiple accounts is a dangerous practice. If one of your accounts is hacked, and your password is stolen, then a bad actor can gain access to every account linked to that password.
That means, if you use the same password for your Facebook page and your bank account, one breach to Facebook could unlock access to your finances.
Easily guessed passwords
To simplify the process of password creation, many people use passwords that can easily be discovered through a brute-force attack. For example, year-over-year the same string of numbers and letters continually land of the list of most popular (and unsecured) passwords of all time:
With a strong enough computer, hackers can crack these simple passwords within milliseconds.
Poorly stored passwords
Trying to keep track of an abundance of passwords, without the help of a third-party, can lead to poor storage methods. For example, have you ever written your password on a sticky note and placed it near your computer? Though you might think you’re in a safe space, it’s never a guarantee.
Keeping your passwords unique, strong and secure should be top of mind for everyone.
How to Protect Yourself
You may recognize that in order to organize and remember your passwords, it’s best to remove yourself from the equation. Third-party systems can take the burden of remembering passwords off your shoulders. However, it’s important to note that not all third-party vendors are created equally.
Password managers vs Password Regeneration
Two options for password security are password managers or password regeneration software. Consider the differences between the two.
Password managers help create unique passwords, store them (usually in the cloud) and act as a vault for private information. Specifically, in addition to passwords, many people also use this technology to store information like:
- Credit card numbers
- CVV codes
- Answers to security questions
While password managers are common, they come with some major security concerns. For the vast amount of information they store, password managers aren’t inherently secure. For example, most password managers require a master password. If this password is not strong, or not properly stored, then a bad actor can gain access to one’s entire safe of private information.
Also, users should note that cloud-based storage isn’t the most secure method of protection, the cloud can also be hacked. Therefore relying on cloud-based companies with your entire trove of passwords comes with a risk. If the password management company itself is hacked, all of the information you’ve stored to their cloud can also be compromised.
There are more secure options than a password manager. EZPD, for example, is a password generator and regenerator, which means the software is equal parts safe and convenient.
The key features of EZPD are as follows:
- Passwords are never stored
- No master password is required
- No password memorization is required
- Ability to create multiple unique, case-sensitive alphanumeric and symbols passwords up to 96 characters in length
- Regenerate your password on demand
- Mitigate typos with invisible copy and paste
Rather than storing your password in the cloud, or anywhere else for that matter, EZPD’s algorithm generates and regenerates passwords for any internet account or file as long as you have an authorized computer.
It’s as simple as a single click.