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.
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.
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?