Protect Your Passwords this Holiday Season

This holiday season is expected to bring unprecedented online spending. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent during this time period and this year, predictions have the online sales figures at 42% of the total spent.

With all of this money circulating, it is also important to realize that people will take advantage of this opportunity. Make no mistake - hackers will try to steal your passwords so that they can gain access to your personal information.

Here’s how to keep those passwords secure this holiday season:

Avoid Simple Phrases

When it comes to passwords, make sure you don’t use simple phrases or words that can be easily guessed. Incredibly, even in 2018 people are still using “123456” or “password” as their passwords. These will take a hacker just a matter of seconds to crack.

Be sure that you don’t use things like your birthday, anniversary, spouse’s name, or children’s names as your password. All of this information is fairly easy to find online. Instead, your password should be at least 8 characters (12 is preferable) and they should be a mixture of capital and lowercase letters. Additionally, these passwords should include a mixture of numbers and special characters.

Be Aware of Quizzes

Another way to keep your passwords secure is to make sure that you don’t give away too much information. For instance, you often see Facebook and other social media “quizzes” that encourage you to share memories of your first pet or growing up in your childhood home.

Your pet’s name and childhood address are often the two most common security questions. If you give this information, you are basically handing over the means to reset your password to hackers.

Tools for Testing and Storing

If you are not sure if your password is a “good” one, there are many resources available to help you test them. There are also many apps that help you keep track of your passwords so that you don’t have to memorize long strings of numbers, letters, and characters. In recent reviews, Dashlane and Keeper Password Manager are among two of the best on the market.

When you allow hackers to guess your passwords, you are handing over information like your home address, phone number, and credit card information. So in order to keep all of this secure, follow these steps to make sure that all of your passwords are safe.

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