Local security firm tests passwords, finds crucial errors

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — More than 14 million consumers became victims of identity fraud in 2019. All hackers need is one piece of sensitive information and they can gain access to all of your personal and financial information.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers asked Colorado-based security firm CP Cyber 
about how to keep your information safe, especially when filing taxes online.

The CP Cyber team tries to crack passwords for their clients, using technology to guess more than 300 billion per account within 30 minutes.

“We crack the password for 60% of their accounts, and the only reason we’re so successful is because people have really poor password hygiene,” said Brian Cather with CP Cyber.

Cather advises anyone creating a new password to use at least 12 characters.

“There are random word generators you can Google and that makes it easy to type and easy to remember,” he said.

Cather adds that using different cases, numbers and characters will strengthen the security of the password.

More websites and services now offer two-step authentication. After you log in to a legitimate account you’ve already set up, a code is sent to your phone or email — that way you’ll know if someone else is getting into your account.

“If you log into a website and an attacker logs in as you, they’re going to see the same thing you see. If it has your social security number, if they see your banking information, that’s pretty powerful,” Cather said.

Security experts warn that even if passwords are strong, they should be changed at least once a year.

 If you suspect your account may have been compromised, change it right away.

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