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Despite a steady increase surrounding cybersecurity awareness and ransomware prevention, attacks on password management systems are on the rise. The 2022 Microsoft Digital Defense Report indicated a worrisome 74% increase in password attacks. This equates to 921 attacks per second and this number doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Breaches, such as the LastPass encrypted password vault being stolen last December, have led many people to consider whether their private data is still safe with online password management systems. The short answer is yes – password managers are still a safe option in 2023, but there are some steps you should take to ensure your safety if yours gets hacked.
Every password manager, whether you use Bitwarden, 1Password, LastPass, or some other service, uses data encryption to keep your passwords safe. If a hacker does successfully get their hands on a system’s encrypted data forms, he or she will not be able to decipher your actual password. However, the hacker may be able to see certain information specific to you such as:
From there, you could become a target of email phishing scams where that same hacker will send you bogus messages designed to get you to respond with confidential information, open attachments containing malicious files, etc.
If you do find that your password manager has been compromised, there are a few safety precautions to take.
Of course, your password manager is in place to secure passwords to multiple accounts. Regardless of the manager you choose, you will have a master password in place to access your main account. To protect your identity and profile information, change your master password to the management site.
After doing so, you’ll want to consider changing the passwords on your most important accounts, such as banking apps, for an additional layer of protection.
Many accounts that you set up online will automatically enable multi factor authentication (MFA) that sends a verification code to your email address or phone number to ensure it’s really you trying to sign in. However, some services will require you to enable MFA manually.
If you notice some of your accounts don’t already use MFA, you’ll want to go into your account settings to enable it.
As previously mentioned, your email address could be intercepted if your password manager gets hacked. To ensure you don’t fall victim to phishing scams, pay attention to any unexpected emails you receive, even if they appear to come from a trusted source.
If you notice any of the following, you could be experiencing a phishing scam:
For other cybersecurity tips and tricks, information regarding ransomware protection, or other managed IT services, please take a look at our other blog posts or contact us directly.
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