As a start to obtaining more of your personal information, “credential stuffing” is a fraud trend that is on the rise. This is where cyber attackers will acquire login credentials leaked from major data breaches. They will then use part of the information collected, for example a username, and will test the credentials with your other online accounts. If the attackers get a hit, they then use the same style of systems to figure out the password. Many people fall victim to hackings from credential stuffing because they use the same username and password for multiple digital services. So how do we protect ourselves?
Use different usernames and passwords
We have all heard of having a different password for all of our accounts, but now it is important to have different usernames as well. This can be overwhelming with all of the digital accesses in our lives. However, using a password encrypted document or spreadsheet is one idea to store and keep track of all your important usernames and passwords. It is also wise to use dual authentication like a passcode sent to text or fingerprint whenever possible when logging into your different accounts.
Select strong passwords
The majority of data breaches that successfully steal personal information are a result of weak passwords. Here are some tips to making stronger passwords for each of your online accounts:
- Do not use personal information such as SSN, birthdate, nicknames.
- Make your password at least 12 characters long.
- Add a variety of uppercase and lower case letters along with random symbols and numbers.
- Avoid reusing passwords or only changing one character.
Out of password ideas? Using a password generator like the one at www.lastpass.com/password-generator can help you create strong passwords. Creating secure passwords along with changing them frequently can help you keep your online account safe.