These days, you can do just about everything online! From making a dinner reservation to planning a trip to shopping to banking, we live in an online world. While these things have made life so much easier, they bring with them their own challenges.
How do you keep yourself safe online? Probably the easiest way to stay safe online is to have a secure password. Follow these tips below to help you create a strong password.
- Use a unique password for each of your accounts. If you have one “universal” password and hackers gain access to it, ALL of your online accounts are in danger of being compromised. While it’s a challenge to remember dozens of passwords, it’s the safest way to live your online life.
- Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols when creating a password and NEVER use anything as predictable as “password” or “1234” as your passwords for anything. (Yes, this does happen!) For example, if you’re a Braves’ fan, you might want to use the word “baseball” as your password. However, “baseball” as a word is pretty easy to crack. BUT, if you add in some numbers and/or symbols to make it “b@s3ba!!” you’ve just made it much more difficult for a hacking program to decipher.
- Do not use any personal information in your password. As much as you love your family members or pets, find another way to remind yourself of them during the day. Very often this type of family information is widely available to anyone who glances at your Facebook profile and, because these are common password sources, that’s where the bad guys usually start.
- Finally, be realistic…you have dozens of passwords and many things on your mind, so we know you won’t always remember which password works with which account. That means you need to keep your passwords someplace convenient but, more important, SAFE! Don’t write your password on your credit card or “hide” them in your wallet. Download a strong, secure password keeper to keep your information safe yet handy. According to PC Magazine, some of the best password keepers for 2021 are: Keeper; LastPass; and Dashlane. Their website (pcmag.com) offers an extensive review of the different options available along with pricing.
Should you ever have a question about whether an email, letter or phone call asking for information is legitimate, provide no information until you have initiated contact with the company requesting the information. Contact the company through the number on the back of your credit card or on their website home page (enter the website address yourself, do not click any provided links) to verify the request for information.
Online resources make our lives so much easier and, with a few basic steps, you can have safety as well as convenience!