I’d like to take some time today to discuss internet safety. I usually don’t talk about myself but I feel some recent events I went through have some information worth sharing.
About five or so days ago I received a notification on my phone that someone attempted to access my email account. I quickly notified Google that it wasn’t me and changed my password. Thinking the problem was solved, I went on with my life.
Yesterday, however, I received an email from Amazon saying that I had reported not receiving numerous items and that a refund would be issued shortly for all these items. I quickly reached out to Amazon and notified them that it was not me who requested the refunds, and they responded, canceling any orders and actions that may have been done by this third party. I then changed my password and checked to see if anything else was wrong with my account. Luckily there wasn’t.
There are several things I have learned from this that can help you be more secure online.
1.Do NOT use the same password for more than one account.
This was my problem. This is just setting yourself up to have every account you have to be stolen. Once a hacker figures out the password you use, it’s over. Make sure to use different passwords for everything, even between Twitter and Facebook.
2. The simple trick to secure passwords.
Think the best password is one only you could remember? Wrong. Clever passwords may seem like a good idea but ones that you create are easier to get into.
A password such as greatestblogger20 may be easy to remember but it does not have much variance. If you take it apart it only features lowercase numbers and letters. The less unique characters you have the easier it for others to crack.
A password such as !greatestb10gger20? Is much better. It incorporates more unique characters such as an exclamation mark and question mark. However it still uses “dictionary phrases”, common words that could be easily guessed.
However, if you really want to be secure there is one great trick. Mash your keyboard. No joke.
The password #bes7H8gf! may seem like utter nonsense, but that’s what makes it so secure. No one could ever guess such a combination without a complex software program designed to crack passwords. Just as a lock with more numbers becomes harder to crack so does your password by incorporating more unique characters.
3. Write down your new passwords.
Unless you have a photographic memory or are far smarter than me (which isn’t hard) you will have a very hard time remembering tons of random passwords. Simply write them down somewhere and take a picture of them. Or if you want take the piece of paper with you. You can also keep your passwords on a word document on your computer or phone.
Remember thieves and hackers will never rest as they try to steal what you worked for. Always remain vigilant and keep your security measures up to date.
Safe browsing everyone!