In the wake of recent data hacks and breaches, it seems like our online data is more vulnerable than ever. It’s a stressful topic for a community of consumers that trusts online commerce more and more, saving our card numbers in our iPhones and favorite websites like Amazon. One of the most common tips for protecting your privacy online is by resetting your passwords across the board, regularly. But, some companies’ password policies are not built to protect you further, even after hitting the reset button.

The first problem with passwords is how easy they are to hack and guess. In 2011, over 50 percent of Internet users used the the top 25 most popular passwords, and frankly, that’s just scary. But, even with the advent of password requirements like capital letters, special characters, and at least 8 of them in each individual password option, passwords themselves are still very easy to uncover. This is because the number of internet users increases each year, and the more people are vulnerable to hacking, the better chance a hacker has at actually hitting the target and stealing information.

Plus, most users will use the same password or a variation of it from website to website, only slightly changing a letter or number here and there as years go by. Unfortunately, this means those who find and access your information once can often do it again…and again, and again. Worrisome, right? Right.

And even with two-step or factored authentication requirements for websites like the iTunes store, WordPress, and even Amazon, personal information is easy to fake online. Most multi-factor authentication services are your phone number, a recovery email, or some recovery questions. These also tend to be repeated and saved by consumers across their devices, so a single entry point usually means a complete hack for those looking to get a hold of your personal online information, bank account and credit card numbers, or general demographic data to sell.

To be more proactive about your online safety, invest in a safe-guarded app that saves passwords and try to change things up when it comes to setting them on various e-commerce or account websites. As the experts at Rocky Mountain Computer Specialists on how to best proceed if you’ve experienced a hack, lost personal information and data, or are afraid it will happen to you. We’re here to help and keep you safe.