Cyber Attacks Can Be Avoided By Not Reusing Passwords

Last week, the CRA announced they had a series of cyber attacks that comprised usernames and passwords of thousands of accounts. This was a result of “credential stuffing” where the affected accounts login and password were retrieved from another website. So how can we prevent this from happening to ourselves? It’s simple, stop reusing passwords

Now I know what you are thinking, everything these days requires a login and having to remember dozens of passwords is not practical. But there is a simple solution to help with this – use a password management service.

Between SRT Accounting and our partner platforms (Accountants 2.0 and Covid Tax Triage), our accountants and bookeepers, along with the entire staff have to rely on dozens of passwords, that is why we use a password management service that stores website credentials in an encrypted vault. Here you can store all your username and passwords safely and you only have to remember ONE password. You can easily access your passwords using your browser or through their mobile app. There are many other options available for password management services, some that also include a free tier such as Bitwarden, LastPass or Keeper. Mcafee is even going further to develop security for businesses that are moving more towards cloud based applications. Whether you’re using it for personal use or business purposes, you can compare each to see which would work best for your needs.

Once your password manager is set up, I recommend you change the passwords to all your accounts as you add them – there is a chance your existing login credentials have already been compromised so an attack could be on the horizon. Each account should have a unique password with AT LEAST 8 characters and it should have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. Since you are not memorizing these passwords, you don’t have to make them easy to remember. Many password management services include a random password generator that can be used to help create unique and secure passwords for all your accounts.

Taking these simple steps can save you from costly headaches later. Next time you go to create a new account online, make sure it’s for a password management service.