You probably have dozens of accounts and want to keep them safe, but how many passwords do you have? Are you just using the same password for every website you visit? If you are, then you’re asking for trouble. If one password gets stolen, they’re all stolen.
Password Manager Software
An excellent solution is to use a password manager program. While those can cost money, and you still need at least one password to secure it, they are good management tools. So how else can you lock down your accounts? Here are four free ways to lock down your accounts with better passwords.
Don’t Use Names
Don’t use names or words found in any dictionary, for that matter. If you’re using your dog’s name and your address, trust us, someone would eventually be able to figure that out.
Substitute Numbers for Letters
It’s easy to substitute numbers or symbols in place of letters that kind of look like them. For example, B becomes an 8, S becomes a 2, and an exclamation mark can replace a lowercase L.
Use Password Memory Helpers
Make passwords more complicated by using the first letters of phrases that are easy to remember. For example, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” It’s fun because you can use any phrase that means something to you, whether from a song or a TV show.
Change Passwords Often
Finally, change your passwords at least every three months. The first day of each season might work as a reminder. Better yet, every 30 days. That way, when a hacker tries to guess your password, they’ll waste a lot of time before moving on to an easier target.
Step Up Cybersecurity at Home
As you use better passwords and update them regularly, taking additional precautions is key. Use antivirus software on your computers and devices (and keep it up-to-date.) Delete odd-sounding emails, especially those inquiring about your financial information. Another safety measure is to look carefully at the email addresses in those odd emails. Also, look for slight differences in the spelling. Most important, remember that First Reliance will contact you by telephone if we have questions about your account.