How To... Protect Your Passwords
With more and more of our lives spent on the internet, passwords are becoming increasingly important. However, if your password is stolen, your privacy could be invaded and you may become a victim of identity theft. Luckily, by just keeping a few things in mind, you can protect yourself.
Step 1: Assign a password to everything
For protection, using as many passwords on your computer as possible is a good idea. Many websites and programs force you to use passwords -- but those shouldn't be the only passwords that you utilize. You should set up your computer to require a password when it is rebooted and to become active again after being idle. By doing this, your personal information won't be easily attained if your computer is stolen -- or if you just leave your desk.
Step 2: Vary your passwords
Be creative when deciding your passwords. You definitely should not have one universal password. Instead, use a combination of random numbers and letters for each password.
Step 3: Separate or memorize
If you are going to write down your passwords, keep that piece of paper separate from your computer. The best case scenario is to memorize your passwords as soon as possible.
Step 4: Change your passwords routinely
About once every one or two months, you should make it a point to change your passwords. If you suspect that your password may have been stolen or if you logged in using your password on someone else's computer, change your password immediately!
Step 5: Spread the word on passwords
If you are going to share your passwords with anyone (your spouse, for example), be sure to fully explain how important it is to keep the passwords private and avoid any activity that could accidentally lead to your passwords being stolen.
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