In the past, we have discussed various Internet safety tactics, such as how to keep your computer secure, and ways to remember how to do so. This time around, we will go into a little more detail about another topic mentioned from time to time: passwords.
Internet passwords are everywhere nowadays, and for good reason. Whether you are checking your email or bank account balance, or accessing your Facebook page, nine times out of 10, you have to enter your username/email address and a password. While you want to use a password that is easy to remember, you also want something that will be difficult for hackers or phishers to figure out.
The three most commonly used passwords are - believe it or not - “password”, “123456”, and “12345678”. All three of those are way too simple, and an open invitation to have your account information compromised. To prevent that from happening, many sites now require you to submit a complex password containing upper- and lowercase letters, along with a number and/or character.
Using multiple-word phrases with spaces or underscores in-between is another way to keep your account safe. Also, while it may seem convenient, try not to use the same password across multiple websites and accounts, or when you open a new account. If you feel like you will have trouble remembering which site uses which combination, use a password manager application. Should you forget your login credentials, many sites will ask you to answer a question to either remind you, or allow you access to your account. Afterwards, you may be asked to reset your information.
In any event, be sure to change your password regularly, about once every six months. This helps keep your information current, and again, prevents hackers from gaining access to your personal information. By remembering these tips, you keep your personal information safe and secure, and out of the hands of eager hackers.