Following password management best practices is an important part of improving your cybersecurity. Habits such as choosing strong passwords and changing passwords periodically are great to keep. However, the one security tip many people tend to ignore is creating a unique password for every account. It’s a convenient trap many fall into. With people having multiple online accounts, keeping track of various passwords may seem like it’s more work than it’s worth. However, this is a dangerous mindset to have.

High profile breaches involving user credentials (usernames and passwords) continue to be an avenue hackers use to collect information. Many times, the stolen credentials are then sold on the “dark web” on sites that are usually hosted overseas.

People purchase your user credentials and use the information to try logging into various high-value target websites such as online retailers, digital video game storefronts and financial services. It is their hope an individual uses the same passwords for other services, giving them access to more of your information. The passwords will then most likely be separated to create a wordlist for password cracking and your email address is often sold to be used in spam email campaigns.

Here are ways to protect yourself.

  1. Do not use the same password for multiple sites and services. Reusing passwords is a bad idea and makes it easy for hackers to gain access to multiple accounts. Create a unique password for all sites. 
  1. Use a password manager to keep track of your login information for accounts. Writing your password down on a sticky note or in a notebook is easy to access for anyone. Services such as KeePass, LastPass or 1Password keep track of your passwords securely. 
  1. When choosing a password, a passphrase is better than a single word password. Also, always use multi-factor authentication whenever available. 

Your security is our priority. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact your preferred Heartland Bank location.

Cindy Moyle

Cindy is a Senior Vice President / Operations Director for Heartland Bank. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Outside of the bank, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family and going to garage sales and flea markets.

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