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Password Tips: The ABCs of Protecting Your Bank Account.

Password Strength Meme

Pay attention to these password tips if you care about your bank, social media and credit card accounts.

Nearly all people who know about online security (and who have the best password tips) say smart passwords are the place to start.

More than that, even though your passwords seems like the basic place to start, the same experts say starting here takes care of most of your account security and worries.

The Top 5 Mistakes You Make With Your Passwords

Here are the ABCs of protecting your accounts where your passwords are concerned.

A PASSWORD MANAGER IS THE BEST WAY TO CREATE, PROTECT AND“REMEMBER”  YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PASSWORDS

A.

Avoid duplicate passwords at all times!

Why? Because if a hacker happens to unlock one of your accounts by knowing or breaking your password, they’ll try out that same “successful” password on other accounts you have.

That happens more often than you think…and if you think about it, it makes sense. Because if someone is careless enough to use duplicate passwords, maybe their passwords are also easy to break. 

Do you use the same passwords on any accounts right now? And if not, then perhaps you use slightly changed versions. Just as risky.

Add more characters to your passwords.

Password Length Means Better Strength

Going from a weak password to a strong password is as simple as going from 6 characters in your secret code to a string of 12 or fifteen characters. That’s a proven fact. The more letters, numbers or characters that are in your password, the stronger it is—it’s as simple as that. So, why don’t people—why don’t you—create and demand long passwords all the time? One of the reasons is that long passwords tend to be harder to remember. However, that difficulty certainly doesn’t outweigh the benefit of getting greater security.

B.

Be aware of data breaches.

There’s a data breach happening every day, globally. If you don’t know what a data breach is, read our own article on the topic. Here’s why you need to be aware of data breaches: that’s where customer and account information are stolen by hackers, stored on databases online and offered up to other cybercrooks.

And if that data breach included stolen passwords, you could be in trouble even if your password seemed unguessable and unbreakable to you. Now, you might think to yourself, “what’s the use of creating smart passwords, then?” And while that’s a fair question, it doesn’t negate the fact that smart passwords are always better passwords.

For one thing, many data breaches don’t include stolen passwords. Also, there are ways to have a backup security plan in case your passwords are stolen, one that will prevent a hacker from logging in and doing damage to your bank account.

Absolutely Doable and It's Free.

One of those ways is to use two factor authentication (also called two-step verification.) You can learn more from our own article on this very important security topic.

Be sure to do a data breach check.

Data breaches are a fact, and your passwords or other account data might be in a data base of stolen information that’s available on the internet. That’s the bad news. 

Here’s helpful information for you. You can find out, right now, if a company that you do business with has suffered a hacker’s attack and had data stolen.

Use the Data Breach Check tool on our website now.

That information alone should alert you to the possibility that your passwords might be in the wrong hands. In cyber-speak terms, security experts say that if you have an account with a company whose network had been attacked (suffered a data breach) then your account may have been “compromised.”  It’s a possibility, not a fact.

And if you do discover or learn that you have an account that may have been compromised, what then?

  • Make sure your account hasn’t been hacked or broken into already.
  • Change your password immediately, whether it has been attacked by a hacker or not.

C.

Stop using common passwords.

Hackers love simple (even stupid) passwords. Do you know that some people, many people, still use incredible basic “secret codes.” You’re going to find this hard to believe, but according to this website, these are the most common passwords around the globe—

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 12345
  6. qwerty123
  7. 1q2w3e
  8. 12345678
  9. 111111
  10. 1234567890 

Even if you’re not using passwords like these, your passwords could still be in the too simple category. Here’s what we mean. Let’s say your name was Steve Hern, and you create passwords like this.

  • SteveHern
  • Steve.Hern
  • SHern
  • Shern1
Happy Dog

Maybe you don’t use your name, but you use the name of your favorite pet, like Skippy or Roscoe or Scout. If you happen to post your pet names (with pictures) online, you’ve given hackers a head start.

If you follow the ABCs, your way ahead of the game.

The above tips may seem obvious to you and too simplistic, but obviously they are not. Even though they make sense, most people don’t follow the rules.

It’s not entirely their fault, not by a long shot. The average person has 50 or more online accounts, which in theory means 50 unique passwords. That is a lot of passwords to create, remember and manager.

You can see why password management for is out of control and not a top priority.  Fortunately, there is help.

BEST PASSWORD TIP: PUT A PASSWORD MANAGER TO WORK FOR YOU.

A Password Manager puts you in control.

One of the best for you to personally manage your passwords—from creating, retrieving to protecting every one of them—is to use a password manager.

— Chris parker

A password manager is an app, a program. Some are free, yet the best ones may cost you just a few dollars a month. Nearly every security expert advises that we use a password manager.

To find out more (and find out which ones are recommended by WhatIsMyIPAddress.com) click the link below.

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