Protect your passwords with these 5 tips
Want to get your password hacked? Experts say be obvious and use keyboard sequences like “Qwerty” or “123456” and you’re almost guaranteed.
If you prefer to protect yourself and provide security for your private information and finances, try these 5 tips:
1. Strong passwords should be changed on a quarterly basis, advises Holly Perez of Quicken Personal Finance. A password should be longer than eight characters, include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols such as a pound sign, and not be something that’s obviously tied to you such as your birthday or children’s names.
2. Once you’ve selected a password, don’t write it down, recommends Mike Ley, senior vice president of digital experience with PNC Bank. If you do write it down, don’t keep it near your computer with the account name or information on it.
3. Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert with McAfee Security, says about 31 percent of computer users have only one password across multiple accounts, which provides easy access for hackers.
4. Be stingy with your passwords. It may seem obvious, but experts with the U.S. Department of Justice say computer users should restrict outside access to personal account information, including passwords. If someone wants your private info, ask why and be very choosy with whom you share it.
5. Avoid using your passwords at locations with unsecured wireless Internet access, says Spencer Alexander, owner of highly rated Alexander Technical Resources in Atlanta. Identity thieves use spyware in unsecured Wi-Fi locations to gain access to your user name and password, and then your accounts.