The numbers of passwords stolen are staggering.
In 2016, for instance, 32 million Twitter password accounts were hacked while in 2012, 117 million user names and passwords were siphoned from LinkedIn.
With all these personal passwords floating around the dark side of the Internet, should you be worried?
According to the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, 10 million Canadians experienced cyber crime within the last year.
And 53 percent were impacted by an online security threat or know someone who was.
That is why the Better Business Bureau of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario is announcing its third-annual BBB National Password Day (#BBBPasswordDay) on Thursday, March 15.
Whether you are a consumer or a business owner, it’s important to change your passwords on all online accounts two or three times a year to better protect personal and financial information.
“By the end of the decade, the average person will have over 200 online accounts and subscriptions that contain sensitive information,” said Len Andrusiak, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of NW Ontario/Manitoba.
“Online security is not a responsibility to be taken lightly,” he stressed. “Company data is one of the most valuable assets in your business.
“[But] some analysts suggest up to 58 percent of businesses are not prepared for breach or loss of their data.
“Protection is all about prevention through due diligence,” Andrusiak added.
BBB is encouraging everyone to celebrate National Password Day by scheduling 30 minutes to update your passwords across bank accounts, social networks, e-mail accounts, and even point-of-sale (POS) equipment.
To reduce your risk of being hacked, the BBB recommends the following:
•use a different password for each account;
•do not share any of your passwords with anyone;
•change your passwords regularly (at least two-three times a year and update password for cellphones);
•turn on multi-factor authentication (i.e., answer security questions, input unique codes etc.);
•build strong passwords-use at least eight characters, utilizing upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
•avoid words found in dictionary, as well as family and pet names, birth dates, etc.
To learn more, including additional password security best practices, go to bit.ly/password-day