Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Staying Safe Online: Don’t Be Hacked!

Many of us have been attacked by hackers - and if we haven't been, chances are, we will be attacked at some point.  These are computer generated hacks, and even if we catch the hacker quickly, and lock them shortly after they attack us, the damage will be done.  While each of these attacks are different, the frequently use our contacts to notify friends and family that we are in some far away country in need of money.  The vicious attacks will delete our e-mail and contacts - making it impossible to notify family and friends that we have been hacked and are not in the Philippines in need of money. 

You should take your personal online security seriously.  How do you know if your password is secure enough?  You can do this by testing your password here https://howsecureismypassword.net/.  If your password is identified as weak, or that it can be cracked easily, change your password to something significantly complex.  

A complex password has UPPER and lower characters, contains numbers, and special symbols - a significantly complex password contains them all and in random order.  The problem is significantly complex passwords are difficult to remember - and you should have a different one for every account, which complicates remembering them.  Here's an example of a significantly complex password that's easy to remember and relatively easy to type.  Let's say you need to change your password for EBay, and you need a unique password just for EBay.  Your password could be ^USoOMyEBayAccount2!  It stands for:  You Stay Out Of My EBay Account Too - something easy to remember, and it reminds you of the dangers of hackers every time you use the password.  

Then, for your bank account, it could be ^USoOMyBankAccount2!  By changing just the middle few letters, you have a significantly complex password, unique for each account that is easy to remember.  

For your online e-mail, it would be - ^USoOMyEMailAccount2!
For your PayPal Account it would be - ^USoOMyPayPalAccount2!

According to the website provided above, it would take 32 Sextillion years for a desktop PC application to crack this password. 

We are all responsible for our online safety. Test your passwords using the link provided, and change any and all passwords that are weak or easily identified. 

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