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Cyber Hygiene: How Clean Are Your Cyber Habits?

December 01, 2023

The password management company NordPass, released their 2023 annual report of the most commonly used passwords. At the top of the list was “123456”, which was used over 4.5 million times. A frightening fact about the most common password is it would take a hacker less than one second to crack it. In fact, that’s true for all of the top 10 most common passwords. That means in less than one second a perpetrator could have access to your personal information.

This password vulnerability underscores why good “cyber hygiene” is so important. Cyber hygiene can be defined as the practices and steps that users of computers and other devices take to maintain system health and improve online security.1

Similar to personal hygiene, cyber hygiene should be taken seriously and performed regularly. Norton, the industry leader in antivirus and security software recommends the following actions for good cyber hygiene2 

  • Install reputable antivirus and malware software – these scan and remove computer viruses and other malicious software
  • Update software regularly – they often include software patches
  • Set strong passwords and change them regularly – at least 12 characters with a numbers, symbols, capital and lowercase letters
  • Use multi-factor authentication – this adds an additional layer of protection making it harder for hackers to gain access to your personal information

1 What is Cyber Hygiene? A Definition of Cyber Hygiene, Benefits, Best Practices, and More (digitalguardian.com)

2Good cyber hygiene habits to help stay safe online | Norton

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