As more and more of our financial life moves online it is critically important to practice good online security. This begins and ends with the passwords that you choose and whether those can be easily hacked by those looking to access your data. So how do you manage your passwords? Here are a handful of tips:
- Don't use any personal information as all or part of your password. Things such as birthdate, spouse's name, address and pet's name are all examples of easily obtained information.
- Where available use two-part authentication. This is available as a turn on option for many online sites and requires you to enter a code that you receive via text when accessing a site from a unrecognized browser.
- Watch out for phishing scams. These are nefarious emails that are disguised to look like it is being sent from a legitimate company, one you may do business with. The attempt here is to get you to provide login or personal information often by having you click on a link. If you get something suspicious call the company directly to inquire whether it is legitimate, or go to their website directly from a new browser window.
- Use a password manager that allows you to securely store all your passwords in one place and can generate strong passwords for your use. There are many good password managers on the market, I use 1password.com, so take a look at how they work.
If you are not worried about losing your data then take a look at this graphic which shows some of the worst and most used passwords.