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Don't Pass On Strong Passwords

Passwords! What a headache, especially when people worry about password safety. Sometimes it seems like that in order to be safe, your password must contain letters, numbers, punctuation, emojis, colors and at least one Egyptian hieroglyph.

But the truth is that it’s easier to create a long, strong, safe password than most people think. Let’s take a quick look at a few tips for making a password that will keep your account safe.

First, try using a passphrase instead of a password. Passphrases or sentences will always be longer than a single word (which is good, because government advice now suggests that passwords be anywhere from eight to 64 letters long!) and they stick in your mind better, because they have more meaning.

Second, make sure it’s something you can remember without writing down. If you do have to write down your password, make sure to protect that paper really carefully — like locking it in a desk drawer or safe.

Third, check your password strength online. Many cybersecurity companies have free password strength checkers available.

Here are 2 short fun YouTube videos that can help you with ideas to create your own great passwords!


Double Your Privacy, Double Your Fun

“Multi-factor authentication” is a tech industry term for using different types of verification to get into an account. The idea is that you use multiple things at the same time to really prove that you’re actually you. A password is one example of a factor; a fingerprint is another.

Multi-factor authentication makes it much harder for hackers to break into people’s accounts. If they have one password but not the other one or two factors that they need, then they can’t get into that account after all.

Let’s look at a couple of tips for authentication.

First, check whether you can set it up on any of your accounts. Most accounts that you’d want to protect offer it. In a setup like this, the account will ask for something in addition to a password — usually, sending a text message to your phone.

Second, use different types of authentication. There are different types of factors: something you know, something you have and something you are. Use factors from different families for extra protection.

Third, you can use authenticator apps to easily handle two-factor authentication for multiple accounts.


Staying Safe When Shopping Online

More people are shopping online than ever before! It’s convenient to be able to order anything you like, and have it delivered to your door. Unfortunately, that also means there’s more risk. Scammers and criminals may try to steal people’s information and money when they shop online.

The good news is that there are several simple ways you can act to protect yourself and shop safe online. Let’s take a quick look at some tips.

First, never do your shopping on public Wi-Fi networks. Public Wi-Fi can have weak security and sending sensitive information like an address and credit card number over a public connection could expose that information to other people.

Second, check out the reviews for the site and retailer before you commit to buying anything. You can easily check for scam reports by searching online at the Better Business Bureau.

Third, use bookmarks rather than links to reach sites. Links can be spoofed, but when you keep a bookmark to your favorite shopping site, you won’t be redirected by a scammer. With some common sense and care, you can shop safe online and get more bang for your buck.

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