COLUMN: Keep your online passwords safe

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These days it seems like you need a password for everything you do.

Passwords are made to protect us from prying eyes in our personal data, etc. With this being said, why should we make them simple to guess?

The most common passwords to guess are Admin, Admin1, and Password, Password1.

Another thing that a lot of people do is use their name with their birthday such as Gene1972, or even worse they use their address 8Williowdr. Another common mistake is to use anything with QWERTY in it for your password. For a savvy hacker, these are easy to get past and in minutes your identity can be stolen and your bank accounts bled dry.

So, what is the solution? When making a password, try not to use real words. Use upper and lower case letters as well as numbers mixed in. A good password would be something like X3afK9l1. The reason being, it is not a word, it has upper and lower case letters at random and it has numbers in it as well. Passwords should be at least eight characters long.

Try not to use the same password for everything you do. If they hack your social media and you use the same password for banking and buying things online, you have opened a portal to identity theft. Vary your passwords.

In short, you should avoid personal names such as your name, children, pets, and special dates, common words followed by 1 or 123, the word QWERTY in any shape or form and the words admin or password. If you could use your letters and numbers to make a word on a licence plate of a car, avoid it as a password.

Use several different passwords for things you do online. Have a separate password for banking that you do not use on social media, emails etc. It should be entirely different and unique. Buying from department stores online, have a separate password for each store’s website, the same with

ebay, Paypal and Amazon.

Keeping up with passwords: Never store your passwords on or near the computer. If you must store your passwords somewhere, a password manager can be useful if the computer is not shared.

Never give out your master password to the manager if you use one. If you write your password in a notebook or on a scrap of paper near the computer and someone burgles your home, they will have access to everything right at their fingertips without having to look far.

Protect yourself and your family from theft with smart passwords and how they are stored. For more information contact a trusted computer specialist.

Jennifer Griffiths

Chips Computers

Chesterfield