It’s nearly impossible to get through the day without needing a password to access something.  Even our passwords occasionally need a backup password. Research shows that most people have five “go to” passwords that they use on multiple sites. Too often people use the same password over and over and that is what opens them up to get hacked. Last year there were security breaches at Sony, Home Depot, and Target. In these cases, hackers were after information. They want to gain your log in and password so they can sell it. A log in and password for your email might seem insignificant, but by accessing your email, a thief may be able to get bank, credit card, and personal information to ultimately steal your identity.


Last year alone, 47% of adults had their personal information exposed by hackers and 432 million accounts were breached. An article by CNN Money states that 2014 was “the year of the hack”. Security breaches were done on a small scale, such as personal accounts, but there were large scale ones done, too, like the Sony Entertainment hack at the end of November. The common belief is that hackers are more focused on larger scale attacks, so the everyday person is at low risk; but this is no longer the case.

Online personal and business security needs to be paramount. Something as simple as a hacked email can lead that hacker to your name, profile, identity and eventually access to different accounts. Passwords are the only thing between your information and anyone trying to take advantage of it. “It takes only 10 minutes to crack a lowercase password that is 6 characters long. Add two extra letters and a few uppercase letters and that number jumps to 3 years. Add just one more character and some numbers and symbols and it will take 44,530 years to crack.”


A botnet  is what a hacker uses to distribute malicious malware. Botnets take over your computer and allow the hacker to be in control and use it as a tool without you being aware that anything is happening. Passwords protect an incredibly large amount of data; bank information, private conversations, business transactions, documented forms, and much more. Protecting yourself can be as easy as creating robust passwords for your accounts and changing them on a regular basis. Below are some guidelines you should follow when creating a new password or changing a current one.