If you’ve had a password hacked recently, you aren’t alone.

The volume of password attacks has soared to an estimated 921 attacks every second. That’s a 74% rise in one year, according to the latest Microsoft Digital Defense Report. 

Big technology firms including Microsoft would prefer the world of passwords is eradicated, and they’ve been making changes for an online future that is less reliant on the vulnerable security step.

Microsoft users can already securely gain access to Windows, Xbox, and Microsoft 365 without using a password through apps like Microsoft Authenticator, and technologies including fingerprints or facial recognition. But many people still rely on passwords, and don’t even use the two-factor authentication now considered critical.

“As long as passwords are still part of the equation, they’re vulnerable,” Joy Chik, Microsoft’s vice president of identity, wrote in a September 2021 company blog post.

Here are six ways to stay protected. 

Change identical user names, passwords fast, and first, on key accounts

For ease, many people use the same username and password across accounts, but it also puts them at significant risk of having their information compromised. Based on a sample of more than 39 million IoT and OT devices, about 20% used identical usernames and passwords, according to the Microsoft report.

If you fall into this category, it’s time to take action. Start by focusing on the biggest risks first — email, financial, health care and social media sites, said Chris Pierson, founder and chief executive of BlackCloak, a cybersecurity company that specializes in preventing targeted attacks on company employees and executives.

Telling a person who has many identical website logins and passwords to change them all at once is akin to advising someone to lose 50 pounds by running 20 miles a day and going cold turkey on sweets, he said. A more manageable starting recommendation would be a once-a-day 15-minute walk around the block and small dietary changes. The same is true when it comes to password protection, Pierson said. “Don’t change every single password you have. Focus on the highest risk, highest damage accounts.”

Use a password manager to encrypt your data

To keep track of passwords safely and efficiently, security professionals recommend using a secure password manager such as 1Password or KeePass. The user only has to remember one long strong password and the manager stores the others in an encrypted format. Password managers can also be used to generate secure, random passwords, which are exceedingly difficult to crack. Even though it requires relying on a third party, password managers generally do a good job of protecting customer data, said Justin Cappos, an associate professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering whose focus includes cybersecurity and data privacy. 

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If this information is helpful to you read our blog for more interesting and useful content, tips, and guidelines on similar topics. Contact the team of COMPUTER 2000 Bulgaria now if you have a specific question. Our specialists will be assisting you with your query. 

Content curated by the team of COMPUTER 2000 based on official publications by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, including the Threat Landscape report for 2022. The full text of the report can be found here.

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