Level up and use a password manager!

If your password is “123456,” you might as well hang a sign on your virtual door that says, “Welcome, hackers! The coffee is on the left, and the sensitive data is in the top drawer on the right.”

It’s interesting how we will spend money on protecting our house from a break in and yet when it comes to protecting what really matters, our bank accounts and our identity, we use a simple password for everything. I can relate, as at one time I did this too because it was easier for me to get into my different accounts, and I did not have to worry about forgetting my password.

But I am here to warn you that fraudsters aren’t just guessing random numbers when they hack you. They’re smarter than that (well, most of them). They unleash dictionary attacks using programs that cycle through common words and combinations of words to break your passwords and they are now able to use AI to speed up this process. This means that if your password is a simple word or sequence, it’s like handing them a treasure map with an “X” marking the spot where your money is located. It always amazes me how many people will spend money to secure their homes to prevent a break in but don’t spend the time to change their passwords or invest in a password manager system to protect their bank accounts and identity from being stolen.

Enough doom and gloom! Let’s fix this. Here’s your password makeover guide:

  1. Be Unpredictable: Avoid easy-to-guess sequences like “123456”. Instead, try “Karma-1s-Th3-Guy-coming-straight-home-TO-ME!” It’s like a cryptic crossword for hackers. Although you do need to be careful if you are using a popular Taylor Swift song phrase.
  2. Embrace Long Phrases: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the password gurus, now recommends long phrases. So, “I-Love-Unicorn-Socks” is better than “qwerty.” Plus, unicorns make everything better.
  3. Variety Is the Spice of Security: Don’t reuse passwords like a worn-out pair of socks. Each account deserves its unique flavor. Imagine your Netflix password as a rom-com title: “LoveInPajamas123.”

Dear reader, it’s time to level up. So go forth, my cyber-savvy friend! Upgrade your password game and use a password manager.  May your digital adventures be epic!

-Kim (Co-Founder of Treefort)