Passwords.  Everyone has them and most probably don’t follow secure-password methodology.  Have you ever used “password” as your password?  Have you used the same password for multiple logins?  When was the last time you changed your passwords?  If you answered “Yes” or are unsure to these questions, please keep reading.  Even if you didn’t answer “Yes”, please keep reading anyway because it’s important to follow some guidelines in today’s world of the internet.

As we all know, the internet is always changing which makes things difficult to secure.  In addition, there is always someone out there trying to access your accounts online.  The majority of the time that you hear someone getting “hacked” is most likely due to a weak or old password.  In order to combat this there are some general guidelines to follow that make things more difficult for intruders.

Some steps to follow:

  • Change your password at a regular interval. Recommended interval is every 90 days.
  • Create passwords with at least 8 characters. Including uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numbers.
  • Create unique passwords for each login.
  • Never save a password into a web browser.
  • Never log into a website containing confidential information using a public computer.
  • Minimize telling anyone your passwords.

One of the most important passwords to keep updated is your email password.  Why?  Because almost every account you create online has a password-recovery feature that sends a confirmation code or reset link to your email address.  If someone were to get into your email account, they could theoretically reset your passwords to other websites online as well.

You may be asking yourself, “Okay, if I create a dozen new passwords that are all different, how do I remember them all?”.  Fortunately, there are some tools to help make this easier on yourself.  A couple of those tools are programs that store your passwords securely into an encrypted “container” and can be accessed using only one password.

LastPass – Offers a free account that can be utilized with any web browser.

1Password – Although not free, it does offer great support for all web browsers as well as mobile devices.  I myself use this platform to help manage all of my personal passwords.

Using tools like these allow you to stay safe and help make it easier to remember all of those passwords you create and reset.  The one important thing is to make sure the password that you use to unlock the tool is very complex, but easy enough for you to remember.

Following these practices will help ensure that your online presence is safe and secure to the best of your ability.  There’s no guarantee with the internet and doing your due diligence will not only help with peace-of-mind, but also the technological aspect.

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