Greg shares how weak passwords can open the door to identity theft in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.
Here's a full transcript of the episode.
Rob Carnie: 800 CHAB's Ask the Expert on the air with Greg Marcyniuk from Heritage Insurance today.
And as we start a new year, some tips on how you can avoid becoming the victim of identity theft. If it's ever happened to you before, I know you've got stories. If you've ever met someone who's had their identity stolen, you know how painful it can be. It's a real pain. And Greg, we can avoid it.
Greg Marcyniuk: That's correct, Rob. The biggest thing is is that we have a very strong password. And the biggest thing is you shouldn't be relying on numbers on passwords. And you should avoid simple keyboard patterns. And as well, you don't want to use any birthdays at all, any favorite sport teams, or your addresses. And you want to try and attempt to create a password that is at least eight characters or more. And avoid using the same passwords for multiple access points. So if you have a couple banks, if you have a couple of credit cards, do not utilize the same password for one. Because if they crack it, they automatically go to the rest.
And something to know: I will have on my website posted the top 25 worst passwords to have. And I just want to touch on the top 10 right now, Rob.
The first one is "123456." Stay away from that. That's the number one. The second one is "password," just spelled out, "password." The next one is "12345678." "Qwerty" is the number four. "12345" is number five. "123456789," is number six — and again, these are those numbers. And then "letmein" is number seven. "1234567" is number 8. "Football" is number 9. And "iloveyou" is 10.
So, like I said, there's another 15 there that you definitely do not want to use. Hackers commonly go through and utilize these. We are seeing a lot more identity theft. I know the Alberta Privacy Commission, they just came out with a report that it's almost more than doubled in Alberta — where people have been hit.
So these hackers are getting a lot more knowledgeable on how to get in. They're getting software so they can break these passwords that much quicker. So again, you just want to be very careful with your passwords out there.
Rob: Yeah. And while identity thieves might be scum of the Earth, they're not stupid. They can take a look at your Facebook profile, they can take a look at your age, your birth date, your favorite sports teams and go from there. And all of a sudden, they've got four, five, six clues to go on, right?
Greg: Well, that's right. So again, you just want to stay away from that. Make it as most complicated and nothing associated with yourself, as well.
Rob: Mm-hmm. We can find these most common passwords and avoid them by taking a look at your website.
Greg: That's correct. nohassleinsurance.ca, or come on down and we'd be more than happy to give you a copy at the corner of 1st and Fairford West.
Rob: One more thing, insurance, we can be covered from identity theft.
Greg: That's correct. There are multiple policies out there that's available, as well as there's riders on there for your home policies have them included. Definitely, you do want to sit down and review with your broker and make sure that you are properly covered for this.
(Video transcription by Speechpad)