Do you practice “Safe Computing”?
Recently John Evans in his weekly report had an article about not being caught by the scams and frauds this Christmas. Keeping with that theme we decided to review a few pointers about computer safety.
“Tis the season” that many of us will do a higher than usual amount of online shopping, using our credit and debit cards to pay for purchases. We review our bank balances to see if charges were correct and while we are there pay some bills. Then we jump to our email for those confirmation messages about our online activity.
Do you always log-out of your banking before you close your browser? When was the last time you changed the password on your email account. Do you use the same password for banking and gaming or entertainment accounts? Do you open emails asking you for personal information? Thousands of accounts are stolen every day, and common passwords for your activity give the thieves an easy path to your bank and identity.
Just changing your passwords occasionally can save you some major grief, so here are a few tips for effective passwords.
1. Make your passwords at least 8 characters in length, some sites will require this.
2. Include at least 1 number in your password.
3. Include at least 1 special character like & or * in your password.
4. Use both upper and lowercase characters in your password, if a there is a common word in your password make the upper case letter in the middle or at the end instead of the first letter.
Passwords with difficult combinations make it harder for thieves with password cracking tools to figure out your passwords and steal your information or your cash!
You can use a phrase for your password making it strong but easy to remember, and then use the first letter of each word of that phrase, example might be, “I was born in Erie in 1966″, the password could be “IwbiEi1966!”.
Don’t ever use personal information such as anniversaries, birthdays, children names, or first and last names when creating a password. Avoid using words or phrases that could be found in a dictionary or easily guessed. “Mary had a little lamb” wouldn’t make a great password.
Have a super Christmas season and be safe!