Tech Tip Tuesday: Passwords

Do you take passwords for granted?

Passwords seem to be required for everything these days. It’s hard to keep track of all of them and password policies are annoying, often requiring up to 8 or even 15 characters, capital letters, symbols and numbers, and they only seem to be getting more complex. The thing is, your password might be the only thing safeguarding your banking accounts, email, or health information from being seen by anyone or everyone.

Step 1: It is very important to use a different password for each site. If your password is cracked once, it will be used to access all of your online accounts.

Step 2: Avoid common passwords. It’s human nature to use simple, easy-to-remember passwords – like relatives, your pet, favorite team, city of your birth, birthday, anniversaries, graduations, even your car license plate number.  Unfortunately, hackers write programs to check these kinds of passwords first. So what can you use? Pick a favorite song, book or quote and type the first letter of each word to one of your favorite phrases. Add a few capital letters in the middle or a symbol to mix it up.

Sound complicated and difficult? Fortunately, you don’t have to be Rain Man when it comes to password protection. There are a number of free password managers available. The software stores all those wonderful, long and complex passwords for you. They allow you to just remember a single password to get access to everything.