Every year as we approach New Year it’s common to look back and review patterns and behaviours of the past year.newyear2
Technology has become common place in our homes and businesses. Many of us do online- banking, watch our kids at daycare on a webcam, use our I-Pad to access our business and personal emails….or using alarm systems to protect our homes and businesses.  According to an article in Newsweek, the average person has 6.5 passwords.  Many people that rely heavily on technology or have multiple phones and email accounts will have even more.
How are we remembering all these passwords and pass codes?  In recent surveys it was found that many of us are NOT practicing due diligence to protect ourselves.  Many of us are using the same password for multiple accounts and leaving them unchanged for years.  The 25 most popular passwords in 2011 include such gems as “password” and “123456,” according to an analysis of various lists and databases dumped online by hackers this year.  We were selecting common names, numeric sequences and keyboard layouts as our passwords online.  Common passwords included “qwerty,” “123456” “monkey” and “qazwsx.”  Combining letters and numbers is a good tactic for selecting strong passwords, but not when it’s “abc123,” “passw0rd” or “trustno1.” Attackers can easily use programs that bombard servers and accounts by repeatedly trying common passwords.  While some sites lock out users after too many incorrect attempts, others don’t, giving attackers all the time they need.
Another vulnerability is that many of are using the same passwords for multiple services, which leaves a gaping hole in your identity and financial security.
Let’s all make a New Year’s resolution.  Let’s resolve to change our passwords to strong alpha numeric combinations, using different passwords for each account with a commitment to change them regularly.  Identity theft is much easier to prevent, than to restore once it’s stolen.  Happy New Year!

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.