TL; DR: If you’ve been relying on easy-to-remember passwords or saved info in your browsers to log into private accounts, you’ve been doing it wrong. The security gurus at Sticky Password have found that most passwords are cracked because they were either too simple or were poached from an open browser session. And these preventable mistakes have resulted in an average per-victim loss of $1,400 to fraudsters. Luckily, there’s a solution to keep your information easily accessible to you and away from the prying eyes of criminals. Sticky Password is a comprehensive password manager that makes using secure and varied login data more convenient. The software remembers users’ complex passwords, giving them the freedom to securely log into accounts and shop the web without having to worry their credentials will be compromised.
In today’s digital-centric world, virtually every important activity has some connection to the internet, from banking to maintaining one’s social presence. The prevalence of smartphones has brought us closer to the web than ever before, providing an anytime-anywhere hub for people to manage the most essential — and even the most mundane — aspects of their digital lives. As such, the need to protect one’s data is more crucial than ever, and the most effective means to do so is through user verification.
One of the easiest ways to improve the security of one’s online info is to use stronger, less predictable passwords. In response to several email fraud incidents in the last decade, an increasing number of websites are encouraging users to include more numbers and special characters when creating passwords.
Other websites require two-factor authentication and other means to verify one’s identity. But it can be difficult to remember so many passwords — especially strong passwords that consist of special characters and no discernible words or number patterns. As a result, millions of web surfers have turned to Sticky Password for its comprehensive password management tool.
Sticky Password was created in 2001 to make secure password management more convenient. In the early 2000s, computer literacy was still on the low side, with security software and password management considered too technical for the typical user and, therefore, reserved for their computer-savvy friends.
At the same time, people were less fearful and less educated about internet crime.
“Not a lot of people were thinking about password managers,” said Peter Lipa, Sticky Password’s Regional Director of the Americas. “Back then, it was pretty much a techie thing. Over time, it’s developed into something that everyone needs because everyone has so many accounts.”
The Aim: To Raise Awareness of What’s at Stake in Web Security
Nearly every modern website has an account system, which means the average user easily accrues tens and even hundreds of passwords over time. With so many passwords to remember, many opt for simple, easy-to-remember versions such as names of pets and relatives or even just the word “password.”
Unfortunately, it is common practice for web surfers to use the same or very similar passwords across multiple accounts. But this makes the web criminal’s job easy. For example, once malicious hackers break into an email account, they can see which banking institutions and other sites a person may frequently access by glancing over the inbox.
To make matters worse, these emails often contain the user’s site-specific username in the greeting line. If the same password is used across the entirety of a person’s accounts, this could spell disaster. In the event of a security breach, the user must go through the tedious process of recovering and re-securing each individual account.
With so much at stake, Sticky Password makes it a point to not only secure information, but also educate users in the ways of preventing future compromises. Because the internet grants a sense of anonymity, it is easy to underestimate the very real potential for danger.
“With Sticky Password, we’re very big on awareness, so we participate in various security awareness activities,” Peter said.
Sticky Password’s Twitter feed, for example, shares news of the latest online attacks to give users timely alerts.
“We want to let people know when to change their passwords, and if you’ve shared that password with other accounts, we’re going to let you know that you shouldn’t do that,” Peter said.
The Charge: To Face the Challenges of a Dynamic Threat Landscape
Sticky Password’s research team has found that the average cost of internet fraud is $1,409 per victim, with users having a 69% chance of being affected by internet crime at some point in their lifetime. With these numbers in mind, Sticky Password takes care to safeguard and educate users of the increasingly guile tactics of those with criminal intent.
“People have gotten used to plug-and-play technology, where you don’t have to understand how something works to use it,” Peter said. “However, with security, you do need to know that you are actually secure, because if you bypass every single secure step, then security doesn’t mean anything for you.”
The best way to remain secure is to anticipate any and all vulnerabilities preemptively, carefully taking precautions and understanding the specific needs that helped create them.
Sticky Password has several advantages over the built-in password banks of browsers. For instance, Sticky Password remembers passwords across browsers and also encrypts stored passwords for enhanced protection. Additionally, Sticky Password automatically generates hard-to-crack passwords on the spot.
To the surprise of some customers, Sticky Password does not store master passwords on its own server. Rather, all the important data is stored solely on one’s own machine in an encrypted database only accessible to them.
“We get a lot of people who say ‘I don’t need to know about that, just keep me safe,’” Peter said. “People think security is so hard, but it shouldn’t be. You remember one strong password, and that gets you over a major hurdle.”
The Solution: Balancing Convenience with Security
Unfortunately, uninformed users often make the mistake of compromising security for the sake of convenience. A password consisting of common words and only a few numbers is easy for users to create and remember — and for hackers to crack and remember.
Peter told us many people complain about monthly password change rules and commonly opt for sequential-based changes which are actually highly insecure.
“In order for security to be used, it has to be convenient. Humans are amazingly adept at bypassing stuff,” he said. “People figured they would just change ‘Password1’ to ‘Password2’ at the end of the month, bypassing a good rule.”
Luckily, Sticky Password makes using strong passwords much more convenient and secure. Users need only remember their master password to quickly access all of their accounts, while keeping unauthorized users out at every turn.
Sticky Password for mobile devices makes password management even safer with biometric authentication and home wifi synchronization — all while putting the power in the user’s hand.
“Once I log in with my master password, Sticky Password is filling the form in for me, recognizing the legitimate site and helping me avoid phishing attacks,” Peter said.
Up Next: Bringing Password Protection to the SMB Scene
By anticipating vulnerability, users can greatly reduce their risk of attack. Humans favor convenience and find it hard to store and recall hundreds of random character strings, which is why password managers like Sticky Password are the most logical solution to staying safe on the web. Likewise, businesses have a lot to lose in the event of digital crime and can benefit from using strong, encrypted passwords online.
To help more customers secure their most precious assets, Sticky Password plans to focus on SMBs in the coming years.
“In terms of our product, we are moving more into the SMB space. Until now, we’ve been consumer focused,” Peter said. “One of our largest partners right now is ESET, and we’re soon going to be rolling out a password-sharing application within Sticky Password.”
This application allows businesses to manage accounts for small groups of users all at once while greatly surpassing current security practices.
By making password management more convenient, Sticky Password encourages more people to implement best practices and safeguard their information online. In turn, users and businesses can experience true peace of mind for very little effort or investment.
“We need to feel that we are at least in some control of our security online,” Peter said.