Password Security Tips

Passwords are a prominent yet overlooked aspect of internet usage. If you are an avid web user, you are probably “logging in” at least once a day. It is important to ensure that the passwords you are using are hacker-proof.

Here are some tips on creating/maintaining passwords that are secure:

1)      Have a different password for every login you use. This includes logins at social network sites, email accounts, online shopping, etc. If someone gets a hold of your password for your Twitter account, you want to be sure that they can’t use that same password to access your online banking account as well.
2)       If you have a hard time remembering all your passwords, invest in a password storage tool like KeePassLastPass, or 1Password. You can also write down all your passwords and keep the list somewhere secure (recommended for homes and not offices).
3) Vary greatly with cases and numbers. Use a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters, and always include numbers. The more random, the better.
4)      Be careful with security questions. For example, answers to common security questions such as “What is the name of your hometown?” or “What is your mother’s middle name?” can be found through social network sites, sometimes even on your public profile. Make sure the answers to your security questions are nothing anyone can find out easily online. In some cases, hacker can use the “Forgot password” tool, answer the security question, and have a new password to your account emailed to them. This gives them access to your account and locks you out of it. Careful!
5)      It is important to not include any obvious information in your passwords. Do not have the word “password” be your password. Do not include your name in your password. Do not have the name of the website be part of your password (in the recent eHarmony password hack incident, around 400 passwords had the word “harmony” & “eharmony” in them, so this is more common than you think). Don’t give hackers hints.

Happy browsing!

 

Author: Patricia Pham, TheLoop Global Marketing Team

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