Humans are creatures of habit. We find something that works and stick to it like white on rice. This is probably the reason consumers still use terrible passwords such as pet names, wedding anniversaries and birthdays, family member’s names, place of birth, sports teams and – our favorite – the word “password.” Why are these horrible passwords? Because all of this information can be found on your social media accounts or even in public records (think Ancestry.com). How do you break this bad habit? Here are a few simple tips:
Do not use “password,” “qwery,” “dragon” or “12345678” as your password. These are a standard part of a hacker’s toolkit.
Do not reuse passwords or reuse the same password over and over again. Hackers will crack your social media account password and then try to use it on more profitable accounts like online banking.
Change your password at least every 30 days. Do not reuse a password for at least a year.
Use a password with at least 8 characters. Longer passwords take longer for someone to crack.
Try not to use real words. With advanced algorithm tools, it doesn’t take long for hackers to try every word in the dictionary.
Do not trust your browser to “save” your login and password. All it will do is save – not protect!
Lie when answering common security questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?”
Use a password generator that creates completely random passwords and then saves them in a password manager, like Password Genie, so you don’t have to remember them.
Bad habits are hard to break and sometimes you need a little help getting there. By keeping these tips in mind, you can keep your personal information (and your money) safely where it belongs.