BBBPasswordDay Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Saskatchewan, in conjunction with the BBBs across Canada, is pleased to announce the third annual National Password Day, on Friday, March 15, 2019.
This initiative, as part of National Fraud Prevention Month and BBB’s Top 10 Scams Campaign, is an opportunity to both remind and encourage businesses and consumers to practice proactive cybersecurity.
“Passwords are such an integral part of our digital lives, as we use them to help secure important personal and financial information,” says Karen Smith, CEO of BBB serving Saskatchewan.
“However, with 73% of users repeating the same password for multiple online accounts and the majority not creating strong passwords at all, there are millions of people whose confidential information is one hacker away from being compromised, placing them at risk of falling victim to identity theft”.
A study in the UK found that the average person has around 118 accounts, with the most common ones being activated on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
More than 90% of consumers are now shopping online, which means many people also have accounts for Amazon, Ebay and other retail stores, as well as for bank accounts and bill payment portals.
While most of our online accounts are inactive or are used less frequently, every single one has our personal and financial information tied to them in some way, for example, passwords, emails, and even credit card information.
On Friday, March 15, BBB encourages you to celebrate National Password Day by scheduling time to change the passwords for the top 3 accounts you would not want to get hacked. Aim to create strong passwords that vary across accounts and are difficult to guess, keeping in mind that every extra character in your password increases the difficulty of the account being compromised. Also, change your passwords frequently – at least two or three times per year – and never share your passwords with anyone.
Quick Tips to Create a Strong Password
● Use between 8 - 13 characters
● Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
● Use song lyrics, words in another language or unusual movie titles
● Avoid words found in the dictionary
● Avoid using family and pet names
● Avoid using birth dates
● Avoid adding a number or letter to the last password you had.
Create something new.
Another way to reduce your exposure to hacking and also manage the number of passwords to remember, is by closing any account you have not used in over a year. Scammers can do great harm with dormant or inactive accounts. Close old accounts that use or are associated with money, credit cards, or bill payments and do not forget to delete inactive email and social media accounts as well as accounts on subscription sites.
To learn more, including additional password security best practices, go to bit.ly/passwordday. For information on BBB’s National Top 10 Scams, go to bit.ly/top10scams.