Online safety is critically important and passwords are your first line of defense against cyber criminals and protecting against hacking.
Creating a strong password
- The longer your password is, the harder it is to guess.
- Avoid easily researched answers such as your mother's maiden name or your hometown.
- Incorporate numerals, symbols, upper-case letters and punctuation.
- Make it easy to remember yet difficult to guess.
- Try using a phrase, nursery rhyme or poem instead of your names, birthdates, pets, street addresses, schools or phone numbers.
- Publicly found information is often the first guess used by those trying to gain access to your account.
Use different passwords
Use a different password for each website you use or bundle the type of website with each password. For example, use a unique password for email accounts than for online banking accounts. Using the same password for every account runs the risk of allowing criminals and hackers the ability to harvest usernames and passwords that they can test against other websites. Using multiple passwords will minimize the damage if one account is infiltrated.
Change your password frequently
Change your password on a regular basis on all your electronic devices, your email, banking websites and social networking accounts. Change it anytime you suspect an account has been compromised or if you have broken up with a significant other.
Safeguard your passwords and accounts
Keep track of online accounts and passwords by safeguarding them in a secure place. Choose random security questions and answers in case you need to verify your accounts. Set up a backup mechanism such as a phone number to receive password reset codes via text message or choose your own question to verify your identity in case you forget your password.