Protecting your Information on Data Privacy Day & Every Day
Nearly every website you visit now wants you to create a user account. From online banking to email to ordering dog food, it is nearly impossible to spend an hour online without needing some sort of credentials anymore. While much of this is to protect our information or provide secured and authenticated access, it can be quite overwhelming. Each provider has different restrictions on what a secure password entails (numbers, characters, upper and lower case letters, length of password and maximum time before the password expires), which only increases how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of these accounts.
While it can be challenging, be sure to use multiple user id's and passwords for accounts. The more times a user id and password are used, the more places you will have to worry about if you or one of those places is hacked. Using multiple combinations can greatly reduce the impact if something happens. Remember, it doesn't have to be you that is hacked; companies are under attack all the time as the value of information continues to grow.
Never use banking or other numeric pin numbers as part of the codes to unlock smart phones or as a part of other passwords. This follows the same principle as reusing the same user IDs and passwords. The more common a set of letters or characters is, the more dangerous it is because it makes it easier for someone to gain the information and use it against you.
Consider using something that means nothing to you on your smart phone so even if someone sees you inputting it, they could never use it with anything else that belongs to you.
- Find places you have ordered from and with this information they might be able to reset a password and possibly access accounts with saved credit cards.
- Email other people and possibly send them malware acting as you.
- Learn what banking institutions you use.