The Biggest Hole in Your Security: Your Passwords

The Biggest Hole in Your Security: Your Passwords

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The first line of defense between your online identity and hackers who would scam and defraud you is your password. Making sure you’ve got good password protection on all of your accounts is a major factor in keeping your online identity safe and protected. If you’re not putting the right amount of effort into protecting your identity, you could become a target for hackers, which can result in everything from compromised online accounts to full-blown identity theft.

Here are some important tips to keep your passwords safe from prying scammers and diligent hackers.

Strong Passwords

The first step you need to take is to make sure your password is strong and impossible to guess. Using things like birthdays, your address, your Social Security number, and other such identifying markers is extremely ill-advised. Even using basic words and simple number strings isn’t a great idea.

The best passwords are impossible for a person to guess. They often look like gibberish to a casual onlooker and are best when written down in your private notes so you can have access to them. Using a digital password manager is also a great way to keep track of these strong passwords.

Mix It Up

Don’t make the mistake of using the same password twice. If one of your passwords gets compromised, this shouldn’t allow a hacker to gain access to your entire digital presence. Make sure you’re using a different, strong password for each site you use. That way, even a single data breach can’t result in a scammer getting access to every site you have an account for.

Change Them Often

Just because a password is strong doesn’t mean it can’t be breached. Hackers are diligent and have numerous ways to sidestep security and get into accounts. To prevent a data breach from affecting you, make sure you change your passwords often. Nobody’s perfect, and it’s possible you could have accidentally done something that left your password exposed.

It’s also possible that the sites you have accounts on could be hacked and have your personal files dumped onto the internet. When this happens, you might not even realize your passwords are compromised for weeks, even months, before a scammer decides to try your info from the data breach.

Changing your password routinely helps prevent this from becoming a problem. If you’re always changing the requirements to get into your accounts, odds are good that scammers will have a hard time getting past your first line of defense!