It's so tempting to always use the same password for various websites and security pages. We all have our favorite, easy-to-remember combinations, but if your one master combination is discovered, criminals have access to everything. You may think no one would hack your accounts, but accounts are often compromised if there is a data breach at a site you use or if an identity thief is out to get you or your business. Check out these tips for keeping your information safe and secure:
Vary your passwords — Strong passwords use a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and even symbols if the site accepts them. Ideally, your password should contain at least 16 characters and be free of repetition, usernames, pronouns, and any predefined number or letter sequences. At the very least, never use your birthday, home address, or pet's name, as that information can be readily accessed online by would-be identity thieves. Make sure to change your passwords fairly frequently to avoid additional exposure.
Keep them safe — Once you have made your password as complex as allowed, take advantage of any additional authentication steps the site may offer. Increased security could include security questions, a second password or code, and even fingerprint scanning. These second steps may seem like a pain, but this extra layer of security can stop an identity thief in their tracks.
How to remember them — If you are on a secure home computer, you can use the password manager to generate and remember complex passwords. There are lots of password manager options, but a few favorites are LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane. These applications will store all of your complex passwords, and you just need to remember your one master phrase to unlock all of your other combinations. For other less secure locations, you can create a password that is both complex and easy to remember with a catchphrase. For example, use the first letter in each of the words of the phrase, "The New England Patriots won the 2017 Super Bowl!" That password would be, "TNEPwt2017SB!". That way, the password is easy for you to remember but difficult to hack.
Here at AAA, our goal is to keep you safe in all areas of your life. From roadside assistance, to travel planning, insurance, discounts, and even identity theft protection, we've got you covered! Call us at 1-866-315-1262, or stop by one of our local offices to make sure you are covered!
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