How to Protect Your Online Accounts
Online Identity Theft
Did you know that there were 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports received in 2020, up 45 percent from 3.3 million in 2019? In this day and age, online users are juggling anywhere from 10-25 online accounts. At Cerebrum, many people who come to us for help in securing their accounts only use one password for all of them. Having only one password for all your accounts is dangerous.
If an identity thief gets hold of that password, they can use it to log in to all your accounts very easily. Another thing to keep in mind is the design of the password. How long is it? How many letters does it have? Does it include numbers and special characters? Bear in mind, the more of these elements your password contains, the safer it is. However, it also makes your password more challenging to remember.
Important Safety Tools
This is where password managers come in. Password managers are an essential tool to keep in your toolkit to prevent fraud. There is a wide range of password managers from which to choose. We have done extensive research and development and narrowed it down to one or two options, depending on the use case. A password manager acts as a safe in laymen's terms: it stores all your passwords and private notes in one place.
Password managers are optimal because they use encryption technology to protect your most sensitive data. Encryption is the highest form of security available on the internet. Furthermore, password managers use multi-factor authentication to ensure that even if someone obtains access to your primary password, they will need to go through an additional hoop to access all of your online accounts.
What We Recommend
We recommend password managers to all our clients. A password manager will make your life easier because you only have to remember one master password instead of a dozen. Also, it will keep your accounts safer because the passwords will be stronger and harder to crack. One thing we never recommend is for our clients to write their passwords down on a sheet of notepaper. This is a surefire way to lose access to your account.
If you lose the sheet of paper or if someone else gets their hands on it, you could end up in an unsafe situation. If you or someone you know needs assistance setting up a password manager, contact us, and we'll get you squared away. Remember, the internet is a remarkable place full of innovation and novelty. By the same token, however, it can also be a dangerous place for the uninitiated. Stay safe.