I recently received word that my cellular company had a security breach. In the past three years, I have received replacement credit cards 3 times because of a similar scare. We all most likely remember the negative publicity certain major retailers received around the holidays because of credit card issue, AND I just read about a major hospital accidentally posting personal information on a web site. None of these examples are due to mistakes made on the part of the consumers. Despite the fact that all of these companies have departments full of individuals whose full-time job is to protect the sensitive information of those using their services, they still face challenges staying ahead of identity thieves.
For this reason, it is important to use a STRONG password for your online accounts; one that will be difficult for others to guess. Knowing that it is recommended that passwords be changed monthly or at least several times a year, here are a few tricks that will make remembering easier.
Using a phrase or string of seemingly random words (that mean something to you) is one way to create a password. When using a phrase, consider using capital letters at the END of each word (instead of at the beginning). Subbing a symbol in place of a letter is another way to make a password secure. For example: @pplEp1E&1cEcre@M (apple pie & ice cream is my favorite dessert). I replaced all the A’s with the @ symbol; the last letter of each word is capitalized and all the I’s are changed into the number 1. Another trick would be to remove all the vowels from my phrase, Apple Pie & Ice cream becomes pplp&ccrm.
Once you settle on a password, a number could be added at the beginning or end. Then each month when you change the password, you could keep the phrase portion of the password, and make the change to only the number…maybe increasing or decreasing by 1 number.
Share strategies you use to make changing and remembering passwords easier.