Maintaining Privacy: Secure Passwords

As Internet technology has advanced throughout the last 20-30 years, we are finding more and more innovative ways to stay connected and access data, and finish tasks more quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly. This has allowed users to work on the go all over the world but at the same time created a much more vulnerable space for privacy and data threats.

Image: PasswordLet us look at technology’s effects on banking. 50 years ago, if you needed to transfer money between accounts, you would have to go into your bank, show ID, and then get the transfer done. Nowadays, you can do that all from your phone, with a click of a few buttons. Even though banking now is much easier than it ever was, the trade-off for ease is vulnerability.

There is one thing that stands between all your accounts and data online and offline; your password. One way to ensure that you are not at risk for security threats is to manage your passwords effectively. It is easier to make a password simple to remember especially if the user has many passwords to keep track of. This type of password creation could be a risk to users and an easy target for hackers. The password should contain letters, special characters, and numbers to make the password more secure and harder to crack. It is not recommended to use personal information as a password because hackers often figure these passwords out quickly. A password should be changed regularly to keep it fresh and undesirable to potential threats and dangers lurking in the shadows.

Many websites offer a double security feature to keep your personal information and data secure. The double security features have users answer questions or remember a personal code number to continue the access process. Even if a hacker has guessed your password, the second security feature can be a barrier to keep your accounts safer.

When users choose passwords, it is important to not use the same password for multiple accounts. The password you choose should be different for every account that you create and use. Although using the same password for more than one account may seem feasible, it is not recommended for security purposes.

Passwords are the safety feature for all personal information, bank information, and other important data that is used. It is important to change your password immediately if it has been compromised. If a person watches you type in your password it would be a good idea to change it for safety purposes. It is recommended to change passwords between 3-4 months for security purposes and instantly when a threat has occurred. If your passwords are all the same for every account, now is a good time to change those to something more complicated and secure. The rule of thumb is when in doubt, change the password.

Here are some password-making guidelines:

  • Use a variety of numbers, special characters, and CAPS to create a strong password
  • Think of something you can easily remember and only use the first letter of that item to continue with your password creation. If you have a favorite movie, you can use the letters at the beginning of each word and then add numbers into the mix.
  • Replace characters with symbols or numbers (Ex: E as 3 or l as !)
  • Make the password a recommended 16 characters long to ensure that the password will not be hacked or guessed.



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