Are The Businesses You Frequent Protecting Your Password?
August 1, 2012
Jackie here, with AllClear ID. One of the most basic lessons for protecting yourself from id theft is to create secure passwords and then to keep them safe. This means combining letters, numbers and symbols, not using the same password for multiple accounts, and never sharing your passwords with others. However, all of your password protecting efforts might be in vain if the businesses you frequent fail to provide adequate safeguards for keeping your passwords safe.
Take for example this recent article posted on Business Insider about Jet Blue. Apparently, the airline stores passwords in plain, unencrypted text and sends emails containing these passwords to their users. Email accounts are easily compromised and sending passwords in plain text in an email just isn’t safe. Additionally, companies that send emails with passwords plainly written probably don’t protect your passwords on their systems, thus exposing your password to employees and potentially to hackers. Couple this with the fact that many people use the same password across multiple accounts and you have an identity theft disaster waiting to happen.
Jet Blue isn’t the only company that emails passwords in plain text. The website – Plain Text Offenders – is doing their part to expose this common problem by allowing users to anonymously submit websites they find that store passwords in plain text. Check out some of the offenders in their gallery here.
Passwords stored in plain text are very susceptible to compromise, so it is especially critical not to use these passwords over multiple accounts. Create unique passwords for each site you use. I know it can be hard to remember a different password for each site, but it is an important id theft protection. Here are some tips from our blog for creating memorable, strong passwords.
Encourage the businesses you frequent to help you protect your identity by keeping your passwords safe. The fight against id theft isn’t one that you can win alone. We are all responsible for helping to keep each other safe from cyber-criminals and identity thieves.