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IDENTITY 101

Improving Password Safety Improves Password Security

Incidents of cyber security threats, breaches, and hacking have continued to rise across the globe. These increases focus on how these nefarious individuals and groups gain access to better secure your data and identities.

Cyber attacks occur at vulnerable entry points, and in most cases, those are passwords. And it only takes a single weak point to gain deeper access to systems and individuals. Data security begins with password safety, whether you need to secure your business or personal accounts.

How secure is my password?

Do you use the same or similar passwords for different logins? Do you use passwords that are memorable to you that include names, dates, commonly used words? Do you change your passwords regularly?

If you answered no to any of these, chances are you are vulnerable to a cyber attack that puts your identity and sensitive data at risk. You’re also not alone.

According to our Psychology of Passwords report, which surveyed 3,250 people internationally, people routinely underestimate the number of passwords and accounts they have and don’t follow password safety best practices.

  • 45% of people didn’t change their passwords in the last year even after a data breach had occurred.
  • Although 92% of people know it's a risk to reuse one password for multiple accounts, 65% still do it anyway.

We are aware of the risk, we know we’re not being as secure as possible, but many of us assume we are being “safe enough”, and that it’s not likely to happen to us.

Why should I improve my password safety?

As we hear on the news and get notifications from the companies we do business with about cyber breaches, it's becoming clearer that your data is at risk. Whether it’s individual vulnerabilities, through work or business logins, or through companies we have accounts with, we are all at risk.

Most cyber security breaches start with weak passwords, and the risks of not changing a password or reusing passwords increase that risks.

  • 85% of breaches are due to a human element, like phishing or weak and reused passwords.
  • 65% of people use the same password or a variation for multiple accounts, though they know it’s a security risk.

Every login has the potential to be a point of vulnerability. And if access isn’t secure, it becomes easier to hack into the system. If you are reusing passwords, you are at even greater risk because hackers know that convenience is essential to users. Retrying login credentials and simple variations that worked on one system are likely to work on another.

Your risk exponentially increases.

You already know the importance of password security

You know to add extra protection to some of your online accounts already, and for others, the platforms or providers require additional steps. For banking or credit cards, you probably have two-factor authentication (2FA) that needs you to add further information, as an answer to a question responding to a push notification on your mobile device. You also probably have a completely different username and password than the regular cycle of ones you use on other accounts.

You know you must protect your financial records. And there are other accounts that we’ve gradually realized require more vigilant password safety methods and overall protection.

What accounts WOULD you create stronger passwords for?

  • Work related accounts: 31%
  • Financial: 68%
  • Email: 49%
  • Medical records: 32%

Only 8% said that a strong password should not have ties to personal information. This means most users are creating passwords that leverage personal information that has ties to possible public data, like a birthday or home address.

Features of password security

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Greater peace of mind

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Reduced data risk

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Stronger password hygiene

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How can I improve my password security?

There are a few simple steps you can use to instantly improve your safety and secure your accounts.

  • Change your passwords.
  • Don’t reuse passwords.
  • Don’t use easily recognizable or personal information.
  • Don’t save login information on multiple systems.
  • Don’t keep a spreadsheet or note file with your login information.
  • Use a password generator to create strong and unique passwords that are different for every account.

Of course, individuals know all this, but the reason these practices contiue is to make it more convenient for us. How can we remember a long, autogenerated password to log in to multiple systems? It takes too long, too risky to forget them, it makes like more inconvenient.

That’s where password managers come in.

LastPass removes obstacles, letting you get back to the things you love most. You gain improved password security, increased safety, and still have the convenience of streamlined access to all your sites and services, with the peace of mind that your identity and personal information is secure.

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