Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Password Security is MUST - Remember To Change Them Frequently!

Your Not-So-Secret Password

Every day, millions of people create accounts on millions of websites. The sites range from online banking to social media, from photo sharing to online pharmacies.

Some developers of these sites have found a way to make the sign-up process easier by allowing new users to sign up using their Facebook, Twitter and other accounts. Because opting in to this type of sign up is so simple, many people do it.

What they may not realize is that they have now shared their social media and/or email passwords with several entities. While those organizations may not proactively use those passwords for their own nefarious activities, they may not be taking all the necessarily security steps to protect them from hackers or other inappropriate use.

My best tip for passwords is this: If you don't want to maintain a large number of different passwords for each site, establish a set of passwords based upon the types of sites you're using. For example, use one password for the set of social network sites you use.

Use a different password for your email accounts, and a different password for your sites where you do financials transactions (such as banks, credit card companies, etc.).

Make sure your passwords are GOOD passwords! They should be a combination of numbers, letters and, if possible, special characters. And it's worth repeating: Never use the same passwords on your financial sites as you do with your email or social media accounts.

One final reminder about passwords: Remember to change them frequently. I know a friend whose Facebook password was possibly compromised after a friend posted a video to my wall that looked legitimate. Because he knew the friend well, he clicked it. He later quickly realized it was not a legitimate link and changed his password right away. Thankfully, he caught it before any real damage was done.


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