An estimated 75 percent of Americans struggle to keep track of their passwords. Unsurprisingly, 66 percent of people reported using the same password on multiple accounts as a way to remember their passwords. Because users do not have a secure way to store passwords, 40 percent of people have had their personal information compromised online.
Hackers will do everything they can to steal passwords and access private information. By 2025, cybercrime will cost global economies an estimated $10.5 trillion per year. Learning how to keep passwords safe can protect you from hackers and cybercriminals.
Your Password Is Not Safe Right Now
Storing passwords offline is important because your password is not as safe as you think it is. Each year, 7 to 10 percent of Americans are victims of identity theft. A total of 21 percent of these people are repeat victims.
Most people do not use a password keeper or a secure way to store passwords. Your password is supposed to protect your important data, but it must remain a secret. If cybercriminals can figure out what your password is, all of your personal information is at risk.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals spend a significant amount of their time figuring out how to hack major corporations and financial institutions. Once they gain access to one of these sites, they can use the passwords or sell the stolen passwords on the dark web. These data breaches cost an average company $8.64 million. Many data breaches happen because of insecure passwords, so it is important to keep passwords safe if you want to protect your personal information.
How Hackers Access Your Passwords
Most likely, your password is not as unique as you think it is. Even though many sites have added layers of encryption, hackers can use social engineering and guesswork to figure out your password. If they know what your password is, the best encryption software will not protect your account.
The following passwords are the most common ones used today.
If your password is on this list, you should change it right away. Millions of people use these common passwords, so hackers typically try out these options first. Many people also like to use their birth year, the year they made their password, their name or the year of a special event as a part of their password.
This technique is less common than other hacking methods because it requires more time and money. You have probably seen it used on television. For passwords, hackers may try using every word in the dictionary to access your account. The other way to use brute force is by using the hash of a plain-text password. This technique tends to fail because many sites throw in random data during encryption to prevent hackers from decoding passwords.
Because of the cost, most hackers use other techniques instead. You can protect your password by mixing words with numbers and symbols. Longer passwords are also less likely to be hacked than shorter passwords.
Phishing is a kind of social engineering. If your account is hacked, it was most likely through a phishing attempt. Basically, phishing is when hackers trick you into handing over your password.
For example, hackers may create fake websites that look like sites you actually use. After you enter your information into the login page, the hackers are able to steal your credentials. One way to protect yourself is through two-factor authentication. You should also be cautious about which email links and attachments you use.
This hacking attempt is extremely common. Cybercriminals can purchase lists of hacked passwords from other sites or hack insecure websites. Then, they can use these passwords and account names to access other websites. Because many people use the same account name and password on multiple sites, this technique is incredibly effective. To keep passwords safe, you should always use a different password with each website.
With this technique, hackers use a list of popular passwords to access account information. Basically, they are betting that some people will use common passwords. By testing the same passwords against every username, they are eventually able to access some of the accounts. Fortunately, you can easily protect your account from this technique by avoiding common passwords.
While keylogging is not the most common way to steal passwords, it does happen from time to time. In this technique, hackers record your keyboard strokes. Hackers have to install malware on your machine first, which makes this technique more difficult to accomplish. By installing high-quality security software, you can stop hackers from adding malware to your device.
This technique only works if you write down your password and let someone find it. For example, a co-worker could find a document on your work computer that contains all of your passwords. You can prevent this from happening by securely storing passwords offline.
The Top Methods for Keeping Your Passwords Secure
Two-factor authentication is one of the best techniques for protecting your personal information. Basically, you have to enter a second password in order to access your account. With some of these programs, the second authentication layer involves an email, text or phone call. Because hackers do not have access to your phone, they cannot access your important accounts.
Other than two-factor authentication, you should figure out a password keeper that can keep passwords safe. Many people use dozens or hundreds of different passwords for all of their online accounts. Remembering all of these passwords is almost impossible. By finding a secure way to store passwords, you can protect your personal data and remember all of your passwords.
Password Management Software
Password managers come with a number of benefits, but they can also be fairly risky. Chrome, Firefox and standard browsers come with a password keeper, but these password managers have some major vulnerabilities. In addition to exploiting design flaws, hackers target these programs with spoofing attacks and faulty input validation.
When people search for a secure way to store passwords, they often choose password managers because they are so exceptionally convenient. Other than browser extensions, you can also use LastPass, Dashlane and similar programs. These programs automatically fill in your personal information online, so you do not have to.
While browser extensions encrypt saved passwords, they are still vulnerable to hacking attacks. This is especially true if you use a weak password on multiple websites. Since browser extensions are more vulnerable than password managers, you should avoid using browser extensions whenever possible.
If this is the technique you choose for managing your passwords, you should use an actual password manager. You should always select complex passwords. To keep your information safe, you should never use the same password on multiple websites.
- You do not have to remember any passwords.
- Browser extensions also autofill forms, which is extremely convenient.
- Many top programs are available for free.
- Password managers can be used on multiple devices, so you do not have to keep looking up your password.
- These programs are a frequent target of cybercriminals.
- There are many security risks associated with these programs.
- Anyone can access all of your passwords if they simply have your device's login code.
- Companies can use the autofill feature to scrape your user data.
- If you forget the master password to your password manager, the rest of your passwords are gone forever.
Paper Password Books
Paper password books are one of the best techniques for storing passwords offline. It might seem counterintuitive, but pen and paper are your friends when it comes to protecting your personal information. Unlike online password managers, a paper password book cannot be hacked. In order for someone to access your password book, they must be physically holding it.
This low-tech solution is impossible to hack, and you do not have to worry about forgetting a password manager's master password. Because this system is easy to understand, it is less prone to mistakes. The biggest flaw is that you could misplace your paper password book and lose all of your passwords.
If you are traveling internationally, your passwords could potentially become compromised as you go through airport security. Likewise, you should avoid accidentally throwing your password book in the washer. While no one can hack your password book, friends and family members could potentially access it. To keep your passwords safe, you should avoid letting other people see your password book.
Our Clever Fox Password Book is by far one of the best password books on the marketplace today. Each entry includes spaces for the username, password, password hint and additional information. Within the book, passwords are conveniently separated by alphabetical dividers.
It also has a pocket-sized option, so you can take it with you. Unlike online password managers, Clever Fox's password book cannot be hacked. Since your passwords are not saved online, they are safe from data breaches and cybercriminals. Thanks to its unassuming design, no one will ever know what your little book contains.
- You are unlikely to experience technical issues.
- It cannot be hacked.
- Anyone can figure out how to use it.
- You can easily store passwords for many different websites.
- You have to find your password each time you want to use it.
- Nosy friends or family members might access the password book.
- You could lose your password book.
If you do not have an actual password book available, you could always make one of your own. A simple dotted notebook can be used to track all of your passwords and usernames. You can use any dotted notebook to get started.
When laying out your notebook, you should leave space for future passwords as well. If you want to find passwords easily in the future, you should devote a couple of pages to each letter of the alphabet. Afterward, you can begin writing down all of your passwords.
Like a paper password book, this technique is unlikely to be hacked by criminals. If you want it to be a secure way to store passwords, you must keep co-workers, family members and friends from accessing it. You should never leave your notebook in a location that other people can access. Since the biggest risk is that you will lose your notebook, you should always keep it in a safe place.
- You can use any notebook to store your passwords.
- Cybercriminals cannot access your passwords.
- Unlike password managers, it is impossible to forget your master password.
- You do not have to remember 100 different passwords.
- You could lose your notebook or throw it in the washer.
- Because it looks like a normal notebook, someone else could throw it away.
- Nosy family members could try to steal your passwords.
Keep Your Passwords Safe Online
No system is completely guaranteed to keep passwords safe, but an online or offline password keeper can help. If you prefer convenience over security, a password manager is a secure way to store passwords online. When storing passwords offline, a paper password book is the best option. Because pen and paper cannot be hacked, they can keep your passwords safe for years to come.