Kaspersky’s latest report titled “Defending digital privacy: taking personal protection to the next level” found that while 83% of users think and create their own passwords (that is not using password generators or managers), 54% admitted that they are unaware of how to check if any of their credentials have been compromised.
Passwords are the most common method of authentication, but they only work if they are hard to crack and confidential. It’s becoming more vital to store passwords securely and look out for possible instances when these credentials could be leaked.
According to Kaspersky’s report, 55% of users claim they remember all of their passwords, which can be difficult if security requirements such as password complexity and uniqueness are to be satisfied. One in five (19%) keep them written in a file or document stored on their computer, while 18% use the browsers on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to store their passwords.
However, there are some ways to check if a password has been leaked. For instance, services such as Have I Been Pwned? preserve a database where users can check if their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without visiting the sketchier parts of the web.
“Consumers can monitor the spread of personal data, including which passwords might have been leaked. And this is not only for the sake of ‘just being aware’; it also allows individuals to take the right action to minimize any invasion of their privacy – along with any wider consequences. That’s why we at Kaspersky put a big focus on protecting consumers’ privacy,” said Marina Titova, head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.
To ensure users’ personal data remains safe and secure, Kaspersky recommends:
- Minimizing the number of people you share your account login information with and never leave passwords where others might find them – be it on paper or on a device. Keeping them on sticky notes or a pad might be tempting, but it will also be just as easy for others to access things you don’t want them to.
- Using strong and robust passwords generated by a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Password Manager. This will produce secure, unique passwords for each account every time and help you resist the temptation to re-use the same password more than once.
- Finding out if any passwords used to access online accounts have been compromised. The Account Check feature within Kaspersky Security Cloud allows users to check their accounts for potential data leaks. If one is detected, the solution provides information about the categories of data that may be publicly accessible so that the individual affected can take the appropriate action