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Creating a Strong Password

Passwords are the keys to our online life…which today is, pretty much, our entire life. The thing is, hackers know this and so passwords are an easy target. You have to know how to stay safe.

Strong Passwords 

Any novice hacker can easily find out your full name, the names of your spouse or children, your pets, or your favorite sports teams through social media and other channels. Do NOT use these things in your passwords.

The strongest passwords come from using a phrase or a simple sentence that you can easily remember. Your password can have spaces in it, and add a capital letter and a number or a symbol to it. You can use a random phrase generator to help come up with a unique phrase. (i.e. "Safe padding fish!")

Allowed symbols are ! % * + - / : ?_ ' ;

Different Passwords for Different Accounts

Once you come up with your best password, change it around a bit for different sites. Be creative! For instance, use a $ sign before the password for your e-Banking account; use “AMZ” after it for your Amazon password, etc. Now you have different passwords for different sites.

Use a Password Manager

A password manager is a convenient way to generate and store unique passwords to all of the sites and systems that you use. It relies upon a master password to open and decrypt its password database. Set an extremely secure master password using the technique outlined above. Examples include LastPass, KeePass, Dashlane, 1Password, and others. Research which one you think may be best for you.

Use 2-Factor Authentication (if available) 

2-Factor Authentication combines something you have (i.e. smartphone), with something you know (your password) for additional account protection. Use it if it is available for additional account protection for your most important website, such as your bank or your personal email account. i.e. Google 2-Step

Safe Sites

When surfing the Internet, pay attention to the address bar – an HTTP site is an unencrypted channel that’s carrying your website data in clear text for anyone to see. So anything remotely personal/sensitive (passwords, credit card numbers, SSN, etc.) that you enter into an HTTP site can be compromised in transmission over the Internet. Even the best password will may not keep your data safe on HTTP sites. Always look for an HTTPS in the URL bar. The “s” means that it’s secure/encrypted traffic.

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