Cybercrime is more rampant than ever before - attacks are growing in sophistication year by year with the potential impact on victims becoming more severe and widespread. It is predicted that the damage caused by global cybercrime will cost $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025.
The threat to individuals, families and businesses is escalating. Whether at home or at the workplace, there are important precautionary measures that you can take to avoid falling victim.
More than 80% of data breaches are due to weak or compromised passwords.
Hackers can instantly crack a 5-character password with widely available technology. To keep passwords secure, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and password managers are useful and effective tools.
WHAT IS MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA)?
MFA is technology that uses multiple methods to verify a user's identity before allowing a login or transaction to proceed. When MFA is enabled, you will be required to provide two or more 'factors' of authentication such as a password, security pin or biometric data. MFA apps can be installed on smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers.
WHAT IS A PASSWORD MANAGER?
A password manager is software that allows you to store and update your passwords centrally in an encrypted database that you access with one master login. Password managers will auto-generate secure, complex passwords for each online account, so even if one is compromised, your other accounts will still be safe.
How to check if your passwords have been compromised:
Regularly visit www.haveibeenpwned.com to see any of your accounts that have been identified in known data breaches. Be sure to change the passwords for any accounts that appear in the search or delete them altogether. The same steps should be taken for any accounts that share the same passwords as those that have been compromised.
Our partners at BOXX Insurance, a Toronto-based cyber insurance provider, offers the following password hygiene tips:
- Only use passwords with at least 12 characters using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters and spaces. See how long it takes to crack an 8 character password vs. a 15 character password via this chart.
- Use a password management tool. BOXX recommends LastPass and 1Password.
- Always use MFA when setting up your personal and business accounts.
- Re-use the same passwords across business and personal accounts. This habit puts both your personal information and your employer's data at risk.
- Keep the same password for an extended period of time. Get in the habit of periodically updating passwords.
- Use short and simple passwords that are 5 characters or less.
Buy Personal Cyber Insurance Online
Acera Insurance, formerly CapriCMW, is proud to partner with BOXX Insurance to offer Cyberboxx Home Edition to our clients in British Columbia, Yukon and Ontario. Starting at just $99/yr, Cyberboxx Home Edition is designed to insure you from the crippling consequences of a cyber attack.
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CapriCMW is a proud member of the Canadian Broker Network (CBN), an alliance of Canada’s leading independent insurance brokerages representing over 100 offices, 2,000 professionals and over $2 billion in premiums. Learn more at canadianbrokernetwork.com.