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  • Writer's pictureSchwalm Tech

Password Protection - Doing It Right

Would you leave the door to your home wide open all day long? Of course you wouldn't. You probably shut the door the moment you walk out of the house and have multiple backups in place to keep your home safe — a door lock, a deadbolt, maybe even a security system.

So why would you leave your front door wide open online?

When you don’t follow password protection, that's exactly what you're doing. You're leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers, who can walk right into your accounts and steal your personal, private, and financial information.

According to a recent study, not enough Americans take password safety seriously. The report finds:

>>> 51 percent of respondents reuse passwords

>>> More than half of those who have experienced a phishing attack haven’t changed their passwords (Are you kidding me?)

>>> More than two-thirds don’t use two-factor authentication on their personal accounts

Little wonder, then, that we continue to see massive privacy breaches, such as 400 million phone numbers exposed in a recent Facebook hack. If you don't want to be an easy target, here are some things you can (and should!) do to protect your passwords.

1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Most sites nowadays offer two-factor authentication, so use it. Yes, it’s kind of a pain, but it really only takes an additional 5 to 10 seconds. Plus, it will always ensure YOU are the one gaining access to your accounts. Unless a hacker has your cell phone in hand, they are pretty much out of luck.

2. Change Your Passwords Regularly

I recommend resetting your passwords every 90 days. However, if you’re using extremely complex passwords (30 characters) with two-factor authentication, you can push it out to maybe six months.

#LifeTip: Set a reminder on your calendar every time you change your passwords so that you'll be reminded again in three to six months.

3. Generate Complex Passwords & Use a Manager

For every single log-in, you'll want a unique, complex password: about 14-16 characters of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. How do you come up with those? Get a password generator. How do you keep track of all of them? Get a password manager.  

I recommend Myki - it has the functions of password management, authentication, and generation all in one app. I like it because it's free at the base level, integrates with browsers, and is mobile-friendly.

Other password managers you could try:

4. Protect Your Phone With a Pin Lock

This should be obvious, but I run into clients all the time that don't have their phones pin locked. Just use a pin. Just do it.



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