Password Ideas

password security on a laptop

How many passwords do you have? One, five, 10, 20 or more? How many times have you forgotten your password? Never or too many times to count?!

Create c0mplic@t3d passwords. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords like 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least three times a year. Because friendly theft – theft by someone the victim knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud. Don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.

NEVER participate in online polls that disclose PERSONAL INFO. It seems that people are participating in those "fun" Facebook/social media polls. What's your dog's name, your maiden name, your favorite eatery. STOP . . . Think about it! Many of these questions are questions and answers to your Security Questions for banking, retail and government web sites!

If you post too much information about yourself -- an identity thief can find information about your life, use it to answer ‘challenge’ questions on your accounts, and get access to your money and personal information. A good portion of people use their pet's name as a password. If you make posts about Spike on your Facebook page, then an identity thief might try to use Spike to gain access to your personal information. Same goes for those "fun test" about your favorite number, maiden name, high school, hometown, favorite color, etc. The more polls that you "participate in the fun in" -- the more options a thief has to crack your online accounts.

Consider limiting access to your networking page to a small group of people. Never post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number or account numbers in publicly accessible sites, nor your "favorites."