The Internet is something that most of us would struggle to live without, but it’s important to make sure you’re keeping yourself and your data safe while using it.

According to the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, insecure passwords cause approximately 80% of all data breaches, so it makes sense to start there. That number is astonishing, but with a secure password manager, the problem can almost entirely be avoided.

iolo offers one such password manager as part of Phoenix 360, its new all-in-one PC security and optimization software. Encompassing seven premium products, Phoenix 360 is designed to safeguard, simplify and speed up your computing and Internet habits.

We asked iolo’s Product Marketing Manager Jeff Venables why password breaches happen so regularly, and how a password manager like Phoenix 360’s can help.

“By some estimates, today’s users have an average of 130 accounts with passwords. This means the sheer volume of passwords we are supposed to create makes the whole business problematic,” he explained. “The chaos associated with thinking up, remembering and typing them into our devices foments an atmosphere of shortcut-taking that compromises our online security.”

With the complex string of alphanumeric characters, capital, lowercase and special symbols required by many companies today, it’s not surprising that among the most common shortcuts is using the same password for multiple accounts. The number of Internet users using the same password is so high that in 2016, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) actually recommended to companies that they simplify these security requirements to prevent it.

The four most common password mistakes that leave passwords vulnerable to hackers are:

  • Failure to use a unique password for every account
  • Failure to change passwords regularly
  • Failure to use complex alphanumeric combinations for passwords
  • Storing passwords in an unencrypted browser

How important is it to protect against password hacks?

Most of us are guilty of at least one of the mistakes described above, but iolo highlights just how devastating a password hack could be. 

“Password breaches are incredibly serious because they lead to direct access to your entire digital life, which is increasingly your entire life,” said Venables.

“When you think of a password hack, think of surrendering your bank account numbers, PINs, Social Security number, credit card accounts, home address and present location, income tax data, access to social media and email accounts, and of course access to all your other passwords.”

How does Phoenix 360 protect against password hacks?

While that may sound incredibly scary, there are measures you can take to keep your data safe without making it near impossible to remember all of your passwords. 

Phoenix 360 is iolo’s first integrated suite of seven separate performance, protection and privacy products designed to comprehensively secure and simply all aspects of your digital life. ByePass is a platform-agnostic, secure password manager included within Phoenix 360 that also helps protect your online purchases.

“With ByePass, all you have to remember is one password,” says Venables. “You log into the ByePass browser extension by typing your Master Password, and that’s it. After that, every password you’ve created is at your fingertips, stored safely with local encryption so that even ByePass can’t view them.”

“ByePass thwarts hackers from stealing your passwords because these locally encrypted passwords are only deployed as needed during login. Hackers are also thwarted from stealing your credit card information because these numbers are also locally encrypted and only deployed to make purchases.”

Essentially, this means you’ll never need to insecurely type or store passwords and credit card information within your web browser, where they’re vulnerable to keyloggers and hackers. You’ll never need to keep a list of passwords again. ByePass automatically assesses the security level of your passwords, and helps you create high-quality ones automatically.

ByePass isn’t the only feature you’ll benefit from when you buy Phoenix 360. Other tools and features include additional online security features like Privacy Guardian, which allows you to schedule regular cookies and browser cache clearance to further protect you, particularly if you saved passwords insecurely in your browser in the past.

The Malware Killer tool within Phoenix 360 will remove malware on demand in the event your machine has already become infected. And DriveScrubber allows you to wipe the contents of an entire drive with military-grade drive scrubbing technology before discarding an old computer, which sensitive personal data could otherwise be recovered from, even after it’s “deleted” in the ordinary sense of the word.

We’ve still only covered the tip of the iceberg here, so if you’d like to find out more about how Phoenix 360 can secure, speed up and simplify your digital life, check out the Phoenix 360 product page over on iolo’s website here.