P.A.S.S.W.O.R.D. Protection/Safety: How To Keep Your Online Passwords Secure

By Adam Myers
Senior PC Tech at SP Computer Services
(Courtesy of the Seattle Medium)

What is the first thing you think of when you hear, “There has been a data breach and user names and passwords may have been stolen.” If you’re like me, you panic and immediately think about all of the passwords you have and what someone could do with them. That is absolutely normal and in today’s world of electronic theft, we should have a full understanding of how passwords work and how to protect them. We use passwords for just about everything. We use them in shopping online, banking, paying bills, booking travel arrangements and even when we use social media. I like to look at “password” like this…P: protecting A: assets S: safely S: securely W: working O: on R: restricted D:devices.

What can I do? :  Protect your password from “everyone”. Let’s face it, your password is really just another bit of information that once it is out can travel from one person to the next. You might say, “well how about giving it to my spouse, children or best friend”. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t, I just want you to keep in mind that the more people that have your password, the less likely it will remain secure. You may also consider staying away from using passwords like your birthday, your name, anniversary, 1234 or any 4 characters. You can use any of the preceding in combination with at least one Capital, numb3r and a $ymbol. I would also recommend you do not use the same password on all accounts. If someone gets your password they will have access to all of your data or accounts. Another option to help with managing all of those passwords is to use a password manager. There are several device/online password managers that will store, encrypt and even alert you when someone tries with a failed attempt. In addition, they give you the peace of mind in allowing you to only have to remember one password to get into all of your accounts. Although you may have different passwords for different accounts, it will automatically log you in when you go to a site that needs your user name and password. Finally, please don’t create a file on your computer, smartphone, tablet or “old-school index card with all of your passwords on it. If anyone gets this information they will have access to everything!

TechTip: When it’s time to get rid of that old computer, smartphone and other devices that store data you do not want to just delete your files and sit it by the curb for the garbage collector or recycling center. Despite your best efforts to remove your information, most computer techs with data tools can recover it. To make sure your data is gone, take it to your local tech and have them “wipe” the data this will ensure all of your data will be completely removed and never be recovered.

Until we tech again………..

TechTime4Me offers the community helpful hints, tips and trends in today’s ever-changing technological world. 

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