Any cyber security expert will tell you that one of the biggest cyber threats we face in 2020 will be hackers targeting inadequate passwords.
Far too many people still use passwords that can be easily guessed by sophisticated hackers.
In 2019, over 8.5 billion online accounts were compromised, with over 5,000 individual data hacks.
The fact is, a staggering 81% of cyber breaches involved either a stolen or weak password.
To make matters worse, over 70% of people admit they reuse passwords at work, even though, 91% of people admit they know reusing passwords is poor practice.
One of the more well-known cyber attacks that involved a weak employee password was when cloud storage firm Dropbox was hacked and over 68 million users’ email addresses and passwords were stolen.
At the time of the cyber attack, Dropbox practiced good user data security by encrypting passwords using a more secure standard called bcrypt.
The bcrypt algorithm for protecting passwords is very resilient to hacking. The problem was the breach was the result of the reuse of a password a Dropbox employee had previously used on LinkedIn.
In other words, it wasn’t necessarily a weakness in Dropbox software, but rather an employee.
The Dropbox hack is a perfect example of the need for tight security at the user end, including the use of strong passwords, two-step authentication and not reusing passwords.
Americans unquestionably suffer from password overload with the average e-mail address having 130 online accounts registered to the e-mail.
In other words, the average American has at least 130 passwords to remember if they don’t reuse passwords.
Since remembering that many passwords is nearly impossible, I want to share with you the top password manager apps that you might want to consider to keep your login credentials safe.
Dashlane. This app offers a free version that allows you to store 50 passwords on one device. If you need to use multiple devices or have more than 50 passwords, the base price is $59.99 per year.
Dashlane works with Windows, MacOS, Android, iPhone and iPad. Plus, it has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.
Dashlane provides a simple and secure way to manage your passwords and includes a built in VPN for added security.
1Password. 1Password costs $35.88 per year and works with Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iPhone and iPad. In addition, it has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
This user-friendly password manager lacks a free version, but you can try it for free for 30 days before signing up. Also, a one-year subscription comes with 1GB of document storage and optional two-factor authentication for additional security.
An added feature for those who frequently travel is a travel mode option that lets you remove your 1Password sensitive data from your device when you travel and then restore it with one easy click when you return.
Bitwarden. Balancing the features between free and paid password managers can be tough. The great thing about Bitwarden is you get all the necessary features for free, but the premium edition adds useful bonus features, at a lower-than-usual price of $12 per a year.
This password manager works with Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone and iPad and includes browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and Tor Browser.
Bitwarden is a basic password manager that can store and automatically fill your passwords across your devices and popular browsers including Brave and Tor for free.
It lacks some of the bells and whistles of other password managers, but for $12 a year it’s a good inexpensive option.
The reality is, if you are still using your children’s birthday as a password it’s just a matter of time before it gets hacked.
This year, there is no doubt that hackers will target our biggest cyber weakness, which will always be human error.