The FBI released the below information:
EL PASO, TX—For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the FBI is encouraging the public to strengthen their passwords/phrases and account protection.
Passwords are used for everything; we use them for our phones, computers, email, even financial information. Unfortunately, many use the same simple passwords, like 1234 or Password1, for multiple accounts. Simple passwords, even those with special characters, are easier for someone to crack.
Recent guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advises that password length is much more important than password complexity. Instead of using short complex passwords, use passphrases that combine multiple words and are longer than 15 characters. For example: TechTuesday2023Strengthen!
Strong passphrases can also help protect against personal data breaches.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a personal data breach is defined as a leak/spill of personal data which is released from a secure location to an untrusted environment. Also, a security incident in which an individual’s sensitive, protected, or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an unauthorized individual.
Texas reported over two hundred victims of personal data breaches with losses of more than $10.7 million since January 2023, according to IC3. It’s important to note that scammers obtain people’s information in many ways. Sometimes a victim will unintentionally give the scammer their passwords, other times, the criminal is able to crack the code.
The following tips may help protect you and your information from a breach: