Passwords should not be re-used…even strong ones. Perhaps you’ve developed a pretty good password that’s strong enough to provide you good protection against the bad guys. And you’re so proud of it; or you can remember it; or you’re lazy; or all of the above; so you use it for every password need you have. No problem, right?…wrong. You see, if your login credentials are hacked in any one of the applications you use, it’ll be easy pickings to get access to all the other applications where you use that same password.
If you doubt this advice, know that hackers and their automated tools are very sophisticated these days and they are experts at social engineering your personal information in order to make some pretty accurate guesses about your sign-on IDs and passwords. In fact, most IDs and passwords can be cracked in minutes, some in seconds. You must use strong, unique passwords to help protect yourself from cybercriminal attacks.
Strong passwords can be difficult to remember, especially if you have a lot of passwords and change them on a regular basis. So what can be done to be able to use strong, unique passwords like we should? Some people write them down in a notebook that they keep in a safe place, some use software called “password safes” to store their passwords encrypted on their computers or in the cloud. There’s even software that will generate a very strong password, store it, and fill in the sign-on form for you when you login (Roboform).
But, like most computer security best practices, you have to exercise the will to use them. It’s hard work to be safe on the Internet these days…probably the understatement of the century. But practicing the best safety measures is no longer an option…unless you like being hacked, a victim of identity theft, credit card fraud, unauthorized withdrawals from your bank accounts—you get the picture. Please be safe out there.
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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.