VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It could be the most boring — but safest — celebration ever!

February 1st is Change Your Password Day, brought to you the gurus at tech blog Gizmodo who want us all to change our passwords together today.

Every minute, 14 Canadians are targeted by cyber-crime, causing billions of dollars in losses every year.

“People are pretty lazy with their passwords,” says Lee, the IT manager for a major corporation in Vancouver. “The majority of the time, they try to make it easy to remember but that can make it easy for someone else to figure it out.”

He notes that can be dangerous, especially if you use the same password for everything, leaving the door wide open for hackers.

“Once you know how someone thinks, you could [easily get access]. A lot of times, people use family names or calendar dates. There are also tools out there that use random words and try to hack your password,” explains Lee, who often helps co-workers come up with suitable passwords.

He suggests using a protected password manager to keep track of them all.

“There are some tools. On the Blackberry, there is a little tool to remember your passwords so they’re all in one place and, of course, you need a password to get into that. Putting a sticky note on your desk is not the smartest thing,” he laughs.

Lee recommends basing your password on something current, personal and difficult to guess. He also suggests using a word but changing some of the letters to numbers.

“Or use a slogan; try and associate it with a rhyme or something that will make your memory click,”  he adds.

The 2011 Norton Cybercrime Report suggests 7.3 million Canadian Internet users were targeted in 2010. The cost was estimated at $840 million in direct losses plus $4.7 billion in lost productivity.