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Drew: Tips on creating passwords to protect your privacy

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

In today’s world one must create a password for almost all account systems. Whether it’s your home alarm system, various credit cards, bank cards/accounts, cell phones, computers, etc., all require a password. With the sheer number of passwords required at the dozens of sites one uses weekly, it is a wonder anyone can remember them all. The passwords require one to use numbers, characters, alphabets and capital letters. One may ask where does it end? How am I expected to create and remember all these passwords for each account system? Many worry they won’t be able to retain the many passwords created so they develop simple solutions for themselves. These simple solutions often place them in cyber danger making their private information vulnerable. Let’s review some do’s and don’ts about creating a strong password and how to possibly keep your personal information safe.

Let’s begin with the most obvious safety tip, but the one rarely followed – do not use the same passwords for all systems. It is strongly recommended you use different passwords for different systems.

You would think the average person would know better, but, if I had to guess I believe this obvious safety tip is the number one simple solution used most often by the average person. Many people use it for their convenience and most cyber thieves know this. The problem in using the same password in more than one system is if a cyber thief gets your information, through maybe phishing, it can be used to access all your accounts and cause havoc. It’s understandable having different passwords causes some frustration, but keeping one’s personal information safe should be worth it.

In reality, it can be overwhelming and next to impossible to remember a different password for numerous online services one uses. Some who face this dilemma, choose to use a password manager as their simple solution such as LastPass. These types of password managers will not only remember all your different passwords, but, also help create strong ones. Some are free – like LastPass. There are others one can use as well, if this is an option best suited for you.

Here are some additional do’s and don’ts:

  • Do not use familiar dates such as an anniversary, birthday or Social Security Number
  • Do use a combination of letter, characters and numbers
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone
  • Do not store them in a conspicuous location
  • Don’t write down your password and tape it to your computer or place it underneath your keyboard
  • Do memorize your passwords
  • Do regularly change your passwords
  • Do sign out when you end your session
  • Do keep up with various company security breaches on the news from time to time and contact the company to find out if your information has been breached and your next steps

Ultimately, Keeping an Eye on Safety relative to protecting one’s personal information should remain a priority for us all.