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Advanced password tips and tricks

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Time to create another password? Make it a secure one. A little extra attention when you create a strong password can prevent an attacker from getting access to your account.

Your password should be long, complex, and unique. Here are additional steps you can take to help create strong passwords and secure your accounts: 

  • Avoid common words, phrases, or information. Don’t use information available to others like your birthday, phone number, or Social Security number. Attackers often use a dictionary of previously exposed passwords and information gathered from the internet to help them guess a password.
  • Change passwords quickly if there is a breach. Attackers who steal data from companies often obtain password information. If you receive a notification from a company about a possible breach, change that password and any account that uses a similar password immediately.
  • Consider a password manager. Most people have trouble keeping track of all their passwords. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a password manager, an easy-to-access application that allows you store all your valuable password information in one place. Use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager. 

What about security questions? If you forget your password, many companies require you to answer security questions to regain access. Here are some tips to make sure an attacker can’t use your security questions as a way to get into your account: 

  • Select security questions where only you know the answer. Many security questions ask for answers to information available in public records or online, like your zip code, mother’s maiden name, birth place. That is information a motivated attacker can obtain.
  • Don’t use answers to security questions that can be guessed. An attacker can guess the answer to a security question that has a limited number of responses (dates, colors, states, countries). Avoid questions like “What state were you born in?” or “What color was your first car?” which allow an attacker to guess all possible answers.
  • Don’t give a generic answer to a security question. Find an answer to a security question that you will remember but is also more complicated than a generic word. For example, if the security question asks “What is your favorite childhood memory?” the answer “watching the Dodgers with my mom” is more secure than “baseball.”

Like these tips? Then check out more FTC information about computer security.

Comments

just got an alert from credit card companies thank you for protecting our identity. can't stand hacker, trying to steal peoples information. :(

Use a 2nd step for connection like others do, send text/phone/ email to verify it is really me. Of all my accounts, Discover is the ONLY ONE not to be using this 3nd step!

Good info. And yes, write it down and let trusted family/friend know where that info is. If you get hit by a bus, they will really appreciate being able to help by accessing your accounts.

Thanks for the tips. It's getting scary out there!!

This was so helpful. It is awesome that text come up n alert you to help you with no getting hacked. TY to anyone who supporting this...

My passwords are so complicated, no one will ever crack them.

This was good help for me I did know what was happening until I check with this web site.

Well thank for the tip

That all I see in there passwords is not my OMG why people do that you have to working hard make your own money don’t scam people stuff like that but lazy not working and got heck on someone email and tried to use them make them bad credit

A password manager is good only as long as hackers have no access to it. If they do have access to it, a password manager is worthless! The best action is to change your password as soon as you suspect there is something wrong with your account - but not any account. For example, your bank account. This is where hackers like to attack.

How can I change my password

Thanks for all your information who knew

I think someone hacked my account

How can I know which accounts were exposed? I have several passwords.

My info has been exposed again. Please help me i dont do a lot on line. Please let me know if this is new. And how to fix it.

After numerous data and password breaches I use a combination of numbers, capital letters, lowercase letters and ?! $#@ added in. All randomized.
I just have them all written down because there is no way I would be able to remember them.

Can you tell me if any fraud has been committed using my account number and information.

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