I’m pretty sure every year since 2011 has been dubbed the “year of the breach.” And sadly, 2016 was no different. If anything, 2016 proved to be the “year of the megabreach” thanks to the disclosure of the 2013 theft of some 1 billion Yahoo! accounts. And that was after Yahoo! disclosed a separate data breach that affected some 500 million accounts. All told, some 2.5 billion credentials were compromised in 2016. We’ve been in this business a long time, but 2016 left even us overwhelmed.
Given that every year has brought breaches of ever-more-epic proportions, all of us should plan for the same in 2017. But what does that mean, exactly? Is there really something you can do to keep yourself safe in a world of megabreaches?
If you’re struggling with where to get started, here’s the most critical step to achieving better security this year:
Be honest with yourself – brutally honest – about the security habits you need to change.
Because making progress starts with understanding where you’re at. I could write 500 articles this year with all sorts of security tips and LastPass tricks and lists of things you need to do to keep yourself safe. (And don’t worry, we’ll have lots of helpful advice to share.)
But until I’m committed, wholly committed, to changing my bad password and security habits, I won’t have the motivation to actually follow through on all the things I know I need to be doing.
Like reusing passwords. Or using bad passwords. How many of us know that every password for every account should be different? If asked, wouldn’t we all agree that every password should look like this: 5mpHPMZxeFS67zW!#yhuUZjRvbmSo3. But we all nod our heads, and then keep doing what we’re doing.
If you analyzed all of your passwords right now, how good would your score be? Would you feel like you’re doing enough to keep your money and your personal information safe out there?
But just like any goal, the first critical step is to be realistic about where you are, and then figure out where you want to go.
So, where are you at? Are you worried that your password was leaked in the Yahoo! breach, but are overwhelmed with updating it on all the accounts you used the same password? Are you pulling your hair out trying to keep track of and remember dozens of passwords? Are you worried how all of last year’s breaches might affect the security of your business? Are you already using a password manager but not taking advantage of all the features it offers?
And where do you want to go? Do you want to finally, finally, have a unique password for every account? Do you want to start using two-factor authentication like everyone says you should? Do you want to move your team away from a password-protected Word document of passwords and onto an actual system that you can control?
Whether you’re thinking about signing up for a password manager, or you’ve been using LastPass for a while and are looking to take it to the next level, we hope you’ll join us this year in working towards better passwords, smarter security, and more peace of mind.