Cybercrimes and threats to personal information are constantly on the rise. A day does not go by that we can’t read about someone’s e-mail, business, bank, or other online account being hacked. With hackers all around the world finding new ways of getting inside your personal online “space,” the need for a safer mechanism and new ways of protecting your information (including your username, password, and personal information) are at an all-time high.
Fortunately, there are some basic steps which each of us can take to ensure that our information is more secure. The first and most important step in this regard is properly protecting your passwords.
We may think that the passwords we choose are relatively safe and difficult to crack, but this belief is far from the truth. With such a huge amount of risk, how do we guarantee that our passwords are secure; and our personal information, safe? Here is a list of a seven simple steps:
- Always include numbers, special characters, upper and lower case letters in your password – A good combination of these will ensure that your password remains confusing and harder to crack, especially if there is no obvious meaning to the letters and numbers your use.
- Go to the MAX – Lots of people suggest a recommend length for passwords. Why not just use the maximum characters that the website will support. Many websites have maximum password characters over 40!
- Do not include important dates or names in your password – Try not to include any dates that may hold importance in your life in your passwords. Also, stay clear of obvious names like your spouse, pet, child, sibling, or parents.
- Do not repeat your passwords – Make sure your new password is always different from your last 5 passwords. Always keep switching between the combinations in your passwords.
- Do not share or write down your passwords – This is probably the most common mistake that we make. Never share your passwords even with the closest of your friends or family. You never know how much harm a slip of tongue can do!
- Be careful while accessing your important accounts on public computers – Try to never to access your bank or other important accounts on public computers or internet cafes. If you have no other option, make sure the browser does not have cookies and that the password saving setting if OFF. After accessing your account, clear the cache and cookies in the browser. Once you have accessed your bank account, reset your password from a secure computer using secure non-public Internet access.
- Different passwords for different accounts – Never keep the same password for more than one account. In case one of your accounts gets compromised, your other ones will still be safe.
In a world where so much of our personal lives are locked in online accounts, it’s our duty to take the basic first steps to insure and protect ourselves. If you need help, contact one of the brilliant technicians at JMARK.