What’s your ‘security score?’ There’s an online tool for that

You are probably more vulnerable to being a victim of crime, either online or physically, than you think, but there is a new online tool that could reduce your risks.

Security.org cites its own research that says the typical American household has a one-in-five chance of being a victim of a property crime. The average American has over a three-in-10 chance of having their identity stolen at some point in their life.

The group recently launched a free tool called, “What’s My Security Score.”

Its security score is kind of like a credit score, and it not only identifies your vulnerabilities, but suggests ways to plug those holes. It’s based on both physical crime risk — local crime rates, home security, safety habits such as locking car doors — and cybercrime risk. It also factors in known data by age and other lifestyle factors.

When it comes to being victimized by cybercrime, we remain our own worst enemies. Despite being one of the most-repeated warnings during the online age, password security remains one of the top vulnerabilities; either weak ones, or passwords we share with others.

Sharing passwords is common because of its convenience, with spouses or partners, family members, even friends or co-workers. The safest way to share passwords is verbally. But there are safer ways to do it electronically.

“The safest way is going to be using a password manager that allows for more secure password sharing. It is also really simple to manage. Password managers encrypt your password so that they are safer to share through their platforms, versus something that is not encrypted like an email or a text,” said Ryan McGonagill at Security.org.

Security.org can also rate your password itself.

The “How Secure is My Password” tool has been used by 13 million consumers since 2017.

The “What’s My Security Score” tool can also find ways to reduce vulnerability to physical crime. But again, human error can undo protections, such as a doorbell cam or locked garage.

“If you post that you are going to be in Greece for two weeks, that is also saying to someone, ‘Hey my house is going to be empty for two weeks.’ So limiting the information that you put out there” is important, too,  McGonagill said.

The “What’s My Security Score” tool is online.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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