Cyber Security and Passwords

Cyber Security and Passwords

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2017-03-27

Online security has reached a fever pitch lately with hackers accessing political, business, and personal accounts all over the world.  According to recent statistics, there were over 177 million personal records exposed that were held by financial institutions, educational institutions, health or medical institutions, businesses, the military, or the government. These records were exposed in 780 breaches that occurred in 2015. 

Those statistics rose for 2016, and as you might guess, so do the statistics for counter measures and security. 

But what if you’re not a large corporation with access to large scale security measures? FINRA recently reported that about 73% of online accounts are guarded by duplicate passwords, and 54% of those surveyed use five or fewer passwords across their online
accounts. 

Meanwhile, just over 10% of consumers use one of the 25 worst passwords of 2016. Topping the list of the worst passwords are 123456, password, 12345, 12345678, football, and QWERTY. 

Taking some key steps to improving your personal online security by using better passwords could save you a lot of trouble down the road. 

Sal Strazzera, CTO for David Lerner Associates and resident cyber-security expert, offered some good ideas. 

“Having a different password for each account is essential-- if you get hacked on one account, you will get hacked on all accounts,” says Strazzera.

Having a different password for each account can be a bit much for some to remember, but there are password management programs available that encrypt and store passwords safely. 

Password hacking programs are becoming more advanced daily. They are adding dictionary words, pass phrases, and bible passages to their hacking algorithm. 

That’s why password complexity is so important. Any dictionary word password can be cracked in five minutes or less. So try using a passphrase with a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, special characters, and/or punctuation. 

A passphrase that may be used is “See You Later” which can be translated to “5ee_Y0u_1@t3r!” 

This is an easy way to remember a password and a very difficult password for hackers to crack. 

Additionally, hackers can use advanced key stroke loggers that makes cracking passwords easier because they log every key stroke in a computer. In order to counter this effort to breach your password and/or any personal identifiable information, here a few tips to help. 

When logging into a computer or a website with personal information, follow these simple steps: 

1) Type part of the password in wrong on purpose. 

2) Use the mouse to highlight over the wrong part of the password. 

3) And then type the correct part of the password over the highlighted section. 

Never backspace or delete because the hacker would log those key strokes. By following these steps, hackers will become confused and, therefore, you will keep passwords safe. 

Emails are another way hackers are attempting to breach company networks. In order to keep your content safe, do not open attachments and links from unknown emails. Strazzera explains that, “There are many layers of technology to block malicious content, but employees can do their part to help.” 

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. 

This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. 

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. 

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC

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About

Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com

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Contact

Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
Zimmerman/Edelson
516.829.8374 X 232
jmendlinger@zimmed.com

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