11 Good Reasons To Change Your Passwords

 

Reminders about the need to change your passwords come often and just as often we ignore them.

Some people, no names, use the same password or combination of passwords for everything. And while that’s an easy way to remember a password, it’s basically a bad idea and makes you easy prey for hackers. Once they get your personal information or passwords, they can clean you out.

Recently, a friend traveled to Spain and used his bank card to get cash repeatedly at ATMs outside a variety of banks.  He banks with HSBC in the states because it’s an international bank and he can usually find a branch with relative ease.  On this trip, he used the ATM’s of Spanish banks close to his hotel.

When he returned to the U.S., he found his card was frozen and he received an urgent message from HSBC.

The bank’s security operation detected a purchase on his debit card for $1.22 at a store in the Bahamas, and an 88-cent charitable contribution in Mexico.  In a phone conversation, a security officer told him, “We think someone stole your card and pin numbers when you used an ATM in Spain.”

The banks bots spotted the small charges and the security staff connected it to a pattern.  Scammers get your information, charge a little and if you don’t notice they go to town with your money and  steal everything.

So following the bank’s advice, our friend changed his pin number and the generic password that he used for other accounts. The idea that someone could steal all his money by hacking his account, brought the reality of password safety home to him.

Statista, the people who turn statistics into graphics, came up with a chart that basically gives you 11 good reasons to change your passwords and your pin number often.

The chart demonstrates how the number of people affected by  significant hacks over the past decade have increased.

 

Infographic: Large-Scale Data Breaches Affect Millions of Users | Statista
You will find more statistics at
Statista

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.