Don’t Let the Grinch Get Your Online Passwords

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These days it seems I’m always entering a password for something online. Back in June, LinkedIn was attacked and I’m pretty sure my password was compromised. If you are catching up, here’s a link on how to find out if you account was breached. As a result, I changed my password (ugh!) hopefully to something more secure.

Since it’s the holiday season and lots of us are purchasing items online, booking tickets for Christmas events etc, it’s a good time for a refresher on what makes a good password and which ones to avoid.

I did some research and found the below tips from Eric Griffith at PC Mag. And as I discovered, I’m breaking most of these rules.

1. Use different passwords everywhere. Wow…this is a tough one to swallow but it is true. If your password is the same for your online banking and it’s the same as your email account, you are vulnerable. I always find that I can never remember my passwords, maybe there’s an app for that? (I probably wouldn’t trust it!)

2. Passwords are like underwear you need to change them regularly. Honestly, this never occurred to me. I have some passwords dating back to the nineties. Definitely time to change them.

3. Don’t leave your passwords in the open and don’t share them. Seems logical except that I have a login/password list I keep right on my desk. It’s going in a safe place now that my son has been asking for my smartphone password.

4. Avoid common passwords. Again, easier typed than done. Apparently, if it’s a word found in a dictionary, your anniversary or the city you were born in, it’s not a strong password because hackers create programs to look at those first. It’s best to make up passwords with upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and preferably 8 characters or more. Fun!

If all of the above seems daunting, don’t stress. Try to do two or three out of four passwords tips. Anything is better than doing nothing in the online world we live in.

I would love to know your comments on passwords. Do you update them or keep them the same? Let me know at weeboot@gmail.com or on Twitter @weebootMom.

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