Make updating your passwords one of your 2020 resolutions

BBB: Watch out for job scams
Posted at 8:07 AM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 10:07:28-05

BOISE, Idaho — If you made resolutions for the new year, there's one positive change you might not have thought about making in 2020. The Better Business Bureau suggests updating your records and passwords to help keep your information safe this year.

Scammers can gain access to your passwords in a number of ways. That includes hacking a large database that contains hundreds to even millions of records at a time, buying them in bulk on the dark web, or finding an unsecured storage server. Hackers can then perform "credential stuffing" where they can take a large list of usernames and passwords and jam them into websites using an automated hacking tool.

At the end of last year, with the hype of new streaming service Disney+, BBB heard of accounts being hacked into and locked up. Hackers were able to gain access to accounts using the method of credential stuffing, relying on the fact that most people will use repetitive usernames and passwords. Once in, they changed the password, leaving the user locked out of their own account.

The Better Business Bureau also recently heard about this happening on other streaming services, but it’s not limited to these types of accounts. According to Sharp Security, 90% of login attempts on retail websites are fraudulent. Credential Stuffing also accounts for 60% of airline websites and 58% of online banking login attempts. It's estimated that 3% of credential stuffing attempts are successful.

So how can you protect your information? Change your password. The start of the new year is a great time to go into all of your accounts and update them. Make your new passwords strong, and don't use the same password across multiple accounts.

Use two-step verification when available, and avoid saving payment information on accounts. BBB also says it's important to delete accounts you no longer use to avoid them from being hacked into with old passwords living on the dark web.

Better Business Bureau has a number of resources to help you protect your identity and money. Find more here.