Build A Better Password

Think of a computer password as being a front door to your wealth and secrets.  It can be made of flimsy wood or as impenetrable as a titanium bank vault.  Here’s how to best secure your fortress.

Use passphrases

Hackers use sophisticated software that can run millions of combinations of letters and symbols in a short time.  Your defense: longer passwords.  A former hacker recommends 20 characters or longer.  The trick is to use a sentence or a phrase you create, such as “My Aunt lives next door to my Mom.”  It’s very hard to hack but easy to remember.  For even more security, add a number and a symbol along with a capital letter or two.

Add a second door

Two-factor authentication services add an extra layer of security to your most important digital accounts. You log in to an account using your usual password.  Next, the two-factor authentication sites send your phone or email a six-digit code that you must enter before gaining access. Most online banking sites use two-factor authentication.

Keep your passwords safe

Never store passwords in a file on your computer or in an easily accessible location.

Refresh routinely

Once a year, change the passwords on all your important accounts.  Also change your password if you are notified by a website that its security has been breached.

Vary your passwords

That’s the golden rule according to cybersecurity experts.  Why let one key unlock every one of your digital doors?