Password protecting your data online is absolutely necessary, but if you’re not careful about the way you go about it – you might not end up stopping hackers from accessing your personal information. Whether it’s a social media site or the folders on your desktop, a secure password means using something that is truly unique, not easy to guess, and has not been shared with anyone else. A simple password that is used for each of your online accounts won’t offer much protection. If you’re new to password creation, here are some tips for how to best keep your data safe.
Choosing a password that is quite predicable and simple, such as your first name in all lower case letters, doesn’t really offer any protection from hackers. A good password will have a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters whenever possible. Ideally, the numbers will be included on the inside of a word, such as “New45York.” Always add a special character like an exclamation point in between letters or at the end of the password if it’s allowed, because it’s less expected and will be harder to crack.
Once you have a good password created, think about how safe you keep it. Don’t write it down on a piece of paper and tape it to your desk – even in your own home. You never know when an intruder or even a house guest that you don’t know well could see the passwords and make use of them in a negative way. If you can’t remember your passwords, write them down and keep them in a home safe or another locked location. Don’t create a file on your computer will all passwords, because if your computer is ever stolen and the document is opened, your security will be greatly compromised.
If a hacker can remotely access your wireless Internet or desktop files, he may be able to crack your passwords. You can protect yourself against this type of invasion with the help of a trusted antivirus software. Antivirus programs will scan your computer periodically for known threats, and can notify you immediately if a potential threat is trying to infiltrate your system. Having active protection can mean the difference between seeing that a virus is attempting to access your data before it gains access to your files, and learning about it the hard way once your accounts have been hacked already.
Password safety is crucial to your intellectual property, financial records, and more. You should not only password protect your social networks and bank accounts with care, but take advantage of all optional passwords on computer programs and folders. If you must share certain documents with other people, upload them to a cloud service that is password protected with a complex combination of letters and numbers. Try to avoid saving things to a large communal drive that can be accessed by your entire company, or any large group of people.