Are You Rolling the Dice with Security Shortcuts?

Rolling the dice risky shortcuts

Confronting a calendar overloaded with too many top priorities, it’s tempting to take shortcuts, foregoing caution in an attempt to increase velocity. We’ve all been there …

Like not fully cleaning the snow off your car in the winter, leaving blind spots for you and deluging the windshield of the car behind you with your icy discards, perhaps? 

Or eyeballing the width for a new kitchen backsplash, only to arrive home from the tile store with two inches less than you need? 

Or hopping on to your work colleague’s computer “for a quick second” when a client calls with a question just after you’ve shut down your workstation for the night? 

In today’s world, data breaches are a daily event and a simple user name and password login can be easy prey for a hacker. You simply can’t be too careful. Scooch offers real-time password quality checks and warnings, helping you to avoid those dangerous shortcuts. 

No shortcuts: Replace lame passwords 

Like the above example of a snow-covered automobile, there are times when we roll the dice even when we know it’s unwise. Protect yourself and your sensitive data by taking action now to eliminate these common security gaps.

  • One-size-fits-all: Stop using the same password for multiple accounts. A survey by Telesign noted that nearly 75% of consumers use duplicate passwords, many of which have not been changed in five years or more. While you’re not alone in your unsafe habits, they’re dangerous: one size shouldn’t fit all. 
  • Common knowledge: Personal data is easily discoverable online. It’s risky business and inadvisable to use birthdays, phone numbers, addresses and favorite sports teams as your password. Doing so makes your passwords more easily compromised.
  • Default passwords: Hackers just love when users don’t change the default passwords on IoT devices and WiFi routers. Don’t gamble with your security; always update passwords from the initial out-of-the-box password. 
  • Complex = safer: Take a look at the most commonly used passwords in the chart below from WP Engine. “Short and sweet” doesn’t apply when it comes to cybersecurity. The safest passwords are lengthy and complicated, with a mix of upper and lower case letters, plus numbers and characters.

Double-down on security with two-factor authentication

Two-Factor Authentication, also referred to as 2FA or MFA (multi-factor authentication), is a process that provides an extra layer of security to online accounts. In a blog post, our sister company PortalGuard provided an excellent explanation of Two Factor Authentication,  which we’ve paraphrased below:

“Two-Factor Authentication provides increased password security by requiring an end user to provide something they know (the user name and password) and something they physically have (information sent to a separate device) before being considered authenticated.” 

Here’s a common example of a 2FA login: When logging into an account, you first input your credentials including your memorized password. Once the password is accepted, a one-time code is texted to your phone. The one-time password or code (known as OTP) must be entered to confirm your authentication and complete the login. 

The additional code offers a second layer of security protection, hence the name Two-Factor Authentication. It’s a good practice to use 2FA when it’s available. 

You may be most familiar with 2FA for your Google account. Based on how you set up 2FA in Google, the one-time code may be provided to your phone via text, voice call or Google prompt, which authenticates your account with a tap to the phone. 

Scooch uses Google, LinkedIn or Facebook for the initial login, and we recommend the added security that two-factor authentication offers. Follow these steps to enable 2FA on LinkedIn and on Facebook

Looking for the perfect combination of convenience and security? Contact us to arrange a Scooch demo.

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