10 Password Tips to Help You Sleep Better at Night
February 22, 2017
By Jerry Ravi, CPA
Okay, who has ever used a password that’s “12345” or “password?” Most of us are guilty for taking the easy way out when it comes to remembering and re-using passwords. On average, each individual maintains from 15 to 25 accounts--who has the time and ability to remember that many complicated passwords? Well, think of the cost and consequences of not taking the time.
According to Cloudswave, more than 8 million Americans become victims of stolen passwords annually -- to the tune of $37 billion in losses. By taking a few extra steps, you can greatly increase the security of your online presence.
- Make sure your password is 8-12 characters long and include numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters.
- Don’t use simple words or phrases like “password” or “abc123.” Stay away from personal information like children’s names or birthdays
- Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts.
- Change your passwords every 6 months, at a minimum. If you think your password or computer has been compromised, change your passwords immediately.
- Don’t share your passwords, write them down, email them or text them.
- You can create strong passwords via websites like strongpasswordgenerator.com, or check your password strength at passwordmeter.com.
- Use password management apps, like LastPast or Keeper, to store and organize passwords in an encrypted file.
- Consider multi-factor or dual authentication where you are required to enter a second password command which is typically sent in a message to your mobile device with a code you need to type in to verify it’s you.
- Utilize password technology enhancements, such as biometric (fingerprint) on your mobile device, for an extra layer of protection.
- Make it a habit to log off your sites and devices when finished.
By taking a little extra time when creating and managing your passwords, you’ll save a lot of aggravation later.