Passwords are our first line of defense against identity thieves, but most are vulnerable to hacking. If you do one thing to stay safe online this year, take five minutes to safeguard your logins with multi-factor authentication.
The Fastest Growing Crime in America
If you had to guess the one crime Americans worry about the most, what would you say? Maybe getting mugged? Being the victim of another type of violence? Or perhaps having your home burglarized while you’re not there? In 2014 Gallup polled Americans on the topic, and found an unexpected answer: online identity theft.
Since then, crime statistics have proved people were right to be concerned. Identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in the world. In 2016 alone, more than 15.4 million victims in the United States disclosed nearly $16 billion in losses due to identity theft — a one billion dollar increase over the previous year.
You may be asking what does this have to do with World Password Day? The answer is simple. Intel created World Password Day to spread awareness about the role of password security in preventing identity theft. Since 2013, our tips have helped millions of people to be more secure online, and this year, we have the most important tip yet: Go beyond the password to add an extra layer of protection.
One Trick Identity Thieves Hate: Layer up
You may have seen news in recent months about hacks with millions of records being stolen. In fact, Pew Research recently found that 64% of Americans were victims of some form of cybercrime in 2016. A password alone is no longer enough to protect your account. You need to layer up. This is our key message to Internet users, and we challenge every person and business to pledge to layer up their logins on PasswordDay.org.
Layering up means enabling a powerful (and free!) security feature called multi-factor authentication that’s available on nearly every email, social media, or bank service you use. Types of extra authentication include a fingerprint scan, device recognition, one-time codes sent to your phone, a USB key, and many more. To protect yourself, it’s essential that you add at least one of these extra layers of authentication to your accounts, but the more layers the better.
When you enable extra authentication on your accounts, identity thieves will find themselves facing another barrier to getting into your account even if they have your password. And that helps keep you secure.
Take the layer up pledge on PasswordDay.org
World Password Day is a fun and educational day dedicated to making the Internet a safer place for everyone. We hope you join us in celebrating World Password Day and pledge to layer up Your Login at PasswordDay.org.