Taking Care of Your Digital Self, Part 1: Passwords

Passwords remain the most common form of protecting accounts of all kinds and are incredibly important in maintaining good identity hygiene. An online survey recently showed that the average person has 27 unique logins that require a password. Possibly because we’re inundated with passwords at every turn, nearly 70 percent of Americans have given up on trying to secure them. One study showed that 80 percent of Americans over the age 18 use the same passwords across multiple accounts and that people shared their passwords with 2-3 people on average. So what can you do to up your password game?

The Importance of Passwords

In 2016, 63% of data breaches were linked to weak or stolen passwords.

Have a proactive password program

  • Change passwords every other month, if your password is hacked, it will only be useful to crooks for a couple of months at most.

Be creative, use good passwords

  • Strong passwords incorporate numbers symbols, upper and lower-case letters.
  • A long memorable phrase may be even better: “3GrayCatsAreSleeping”

Mix it Up!

  • Use different passwords on each account, so that if one is compromised it doesn’t mean they all are

Multi-Factor Authentication

  • Requires two different avenue to verify who you are. For example, a password and a code that’s texted to your mobile phone.

Tool & Resources:

  • Password Generator: Online services like random.org can help develop passwords of any length and complexity.
  • Password Manager: With many you only need remember 1 key password and the manager does the rest.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Checking Your Credit Reports coming in January