The Essentials of Password Safety

You've probably heard a lot about password safety. Many people, though, think they don't need to worry. They assume that their password is unique, that nothing could ever happen to them, or that they don't use passwords enough to make it an issue.

But the simple truth is that your online safety and financial security are strongly related to password security. Here are just some of the problems that can follow a password hack.

-The hacker can make purchases in your name if they hack an online shopping account or your PayPal account.

-The hacker can access your bank account if they obtain your online passwords.

-The hacker can use your internet access to download illegal material if they hack your wireless password, which you will be held responsible for.

In order to protect yourself, here's what you need to know about password safety.

Password security basics

1. Don't use one password for everything

This is especially important for things like your bank account, etc. Banks have extremely high security on their websites, so most hackers don't even bother attacking them. But if they can hack your password from another less secure site, they will try that password to get at your financial information.

Every site you visit should have its own password. If you really can't handle that, at least have one password for less secure sites (like email) and unique passwords for anything that could compromise you financially.

2. Don't use predictable passwords

It's remarkably easy to obtain personal information about a person, so don't think personal information is "something no one else could know." Here are some of the most common passwords you need to avoid:

-123, 1234, 12345, etc.
-A family member's name, pet name, etc.
-Your birthday or a family member's birthday
-The last four digits of your social security number
-Common words like love, God, money
-Local sports teams
-Band names

And don't think that sticking a number after these words makes them any more secure, either. Because many sites require a number in passwords, people often put a 0 or 1 after a word and think they've created a safe password. Hackers can easily guess this.

3. Create a safe password

In fact, if you use any dictionary word, there are hacking programs that can compromise your online safety in a matter of minutes. So how do you practice password safety? Here are some tips to help.

-Have one password for every site
-Use a combination of numbers, letters, and characters, as well as upper and lowercase letters if possible
-Do not share your passwords
-Do not make so-called 'security questions' easily accessible information like your hometown or mother's maiden name

I know it's a pain to remember long strings of random letters and numbers. However, try choosing a word and replacing letters. For example, if your daughter is Elizabeth, your password could be 3l1zab3th. You can still remember it but numbers are always safer, and it's no longer as easy to guess.

Remember, password safety makes a huge difference in your online security!


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