Ryan Bush

How often do you change your online passwords? Do you have one password that you use for everything? Is it your dog’s name, or your nickname followed by the number 1? We have all been guilty at one time or another of choosing an easy password. However, now that so much sensitive and identifying information is stored online it is important to keep that information as safe as possible.

Trying to create and then remember a long, complicated password just so you can order something from Amazon is annoying, right? I agree. Unfortunately, it is also completely necessary. Did you hear about the LinkedIn hack where more than 6.5 million usernames (emails) and passwords were released onto the internet? Or worse, did you hear about the hack because your username (let’s call it what it is—your email address) and password was one of the ones released? What did you do? Did you change that password, as well as any other account(s) that use that password?

Even if you have not been prompted to change any passwords lately it is a good idea to change them yourself every couple months. Here are some other guidelines to help keep yourself, and your information, safe online:

  1. Do not use the same username and password combination for multiple accounts.
  2. Turn on two-step authentication (or two-step verification or multi-factor authentication) when available. Especially when you use one service (like Microsoft or Google) for several different things.
  3. Use Secure Password Generator to help you come up with difficult passwords for your most important and sensitive accounts.
  4. Check to see how good your password is, and how quickly your account could be hacked at How Secure Is My Password.
  5. Make your password a phrase to make it easier for you to remember. Example: Pr0tectY0urdelf0nline
  6. Change your passwords every three months
  7. Keep your passwords in a safe place away from your computer, or if you want to keep them on the computer keep them in a password protected Excel sheet or use one of these password managers.

Keep your information safe! Good luck! If you have any questions, or would like to discuss cyber security further give us a call! (843) 410-0050!

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