Worried about hackers getting into your accounts? Then it is time to improve your passwords.
The National Cyber Security Alliance says, “Passwords are like keys to your personal home online. You should do everything you can prevent people from gaining access to your password.”
Some best practices for your passwords include:
– Use a sentence. One way to get a nice, long password you can remember is to use more than one word. Since I grew up in Philadelphia, I could use “ILovePhillyCheesesteaks” for instance.
– Mix capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols. In the example above, I capitalize the first letter of each word, but that’s all. We can make the password stronger, but still easy to remember, by using substitution. Change the e’s for 3’s, for example. And add an exclamation point. … ILov3PhillyCh33s3st3aks! … Now that’s long and strong.
– Use unique passwords on different sites. If you are using the same password, or something very similar, on all your sites then you are making it easy for hackers. If they break into just one of your accounts, they will have access to all of them. Vary your passwords.
– Change your passwords. How many of you have been using variations of the same password for years? Don’t give hackers the chance to figure things out. Change your passwords quarterly.
– Keep your passwords listed someplace safe. A notebook in your house is good, but you also may want to check out a dedicated password manager, which is an app that stores, organizes and encrypts your passwords. Good ones will make sure you update your passwords and improve weak passwords.
Another way to improve your login security is to turn on two-step authentication. This adds another layer of security to your accounts. More sites will begin to offer two-step authentication in the near future, so watch for the opportunity.