News of a data breach of 500 million users at a major internet portal coming on the heels of other recently communicated breaches at a cloud-based storage provider and a notification from a music streaming service to their customers advising them to reset their passwords has made one thing abundantly clear: If you haven't changed and updated your passwords lately, it's probably time you did.
Keep Your Online User Credentials Safe
Hackers know we tend to use the same or similar passwords in many places to avoid the hassle of remembering several unique passwords. So how can you ensure and improve the security of the online tools you use everyday? Here are some simple steps you can take immediately:
- Create unique and complex passwords for every online resource you use. While it can be challenging to create and remember unique passwords for every app or website, it’s wise to do so. At a minimum you should have unique, complex passwords for higher risk online services such as online banking and other financial services.
- Consider installing a password management tool on your computer and smartphone. These tools are like a vault for your passwords. What's more, most password tools will generate unique, multi-character passwords.
- Wherever available, use two-factor authentication to log on to online services. Two-factor authentication is the use of a username and password together with a piece of information that only the user knows such as a code that is sent to your mobile phone via text message.
- Set up alerts to remind you to change your passwords regularly, such as every 30 or 60 days.
- To limit hackers' opportunities to steal passwords and other information directly from your computer or mobile device, be sure to apply software updates promptly when they are made available by the software provider.
The internet has transformed our lives in many ways, making a variety of everyday tasks easier and faster. But hackers and cyber-thieves never rest, and are constantly looking for new and more creative ways to invade our privacy and steal vital personal information. Now more than ever, it’s important to safeguard our access to all the convenient online personal services we use daily.
Read other Insights blogs about banking and cybersecurity, and subscribe to Insights by entering your e-mail address in the form below to receive regular news, updates and helpful information about your money.
This information is provided for educational and illustrative purposes only.