Think of passwords as a lock to your door. Just like your home or vehicle, behind that door are all sorts of valuable items. Don’t forget to lock up! Bank accounts, personal data, online account information and so more could be stolen from you. For a lock (password) that can’t be picked, following these valuable tips:
- Long and strong – at least 12 characters (the longer, the stronger). Think phrases instead of words and avoid the use of common words such as “password” or “iloveyou”. Remember, the longer the phrase, the stronger your password.
- Do not recycle – Just like a key, you need a unique one to protect each place. You wouldn’t use your front door key for your vehicle, right? And just think if that were possible! If you lost that single key, you would only have to worry about someone gaining access to that one place. The same concept applies to passwords. Don’t reuse the same one. If you do, you risk someone accessing multiple accounts where that same password would work.
- Multi-factor authentication is a must – You want to log in quickly, but you also want your information protected. Taking a few seconds to log in is worth it. Multi-factor authentication is simply adding a second layer of security on your account. A second step is required after entering in your password. It involves entering something you have (rotating code) with something you know (password) to log in. This second step can be completed using a variety of methods: a scan of your fingerprint, retina, or face, or a passcode sent to you via email (or an app) that you must enter. Having multi-factor authentication enabled is like locking your door and activating a burglar alarm. Someone trying to break in will have to use both in order to gain access. This will take more time and effort for the scammer and often is enough to deter them from trying further. Whenever you create an account and multi-factor authentication is offered you should use it to reduce the odds of being hacked. Many popular sites and applications offer this option, but it is turned off by default. To turn it on, simply got to your Settings, Privacy or Security. Look for Multi-Factor or 2 Factor Authentication. Most sties will ask you to download an authenticator app such as Google or Microsoft Authenticator which can be found in your device’s approved app store.