Updated: Mar 31
Are you making yourself a target for fraud? More and more often I am hearing stories of people who have had their accounts hacked. They have had money stolen, lost sleep, spent hours setting up new accounts, or had their credit ruined. Don't let this happen to you.
Are you making these dangerous mistakes?
Mistake #1: Using the same password for all your accounts.
Please don't do this. Use different passwords for every email account, and definitely use unique passwords for shopping websites where you'd enter your credit card.
Mistake #2: Short passwords
The risk of someone guessing your password is increasingly difficult the more characters are in it. So, go for the gusto and make your passwords long.
Mistake #3: BradPitt, Charlie, Sarah, Princess, Barbie, Gandolf -- Did I guess it yet?
Do not use kids' names, pet's name, nicknames, names from characters in books or movies or celebrity names. Even if I didn't guess it in my list, someone who knows you could.
Mistake #4: Easy to remember English words
Easy to remember is also easy to guess. Passwords should not contain English words found in a dictionary. Non-English words or any words in any dictionary are a high risk as well. And, for goodness sakes, if your password is "password" or "test" then it's a wonder you haven't been hacked yet!
Mistake #5: Numbers are no-no's.
Seriously, stay away from birthdays, anniversaries, addresses, social security numbers or telephone numbers. They are all too easy to guess.
Choose random passwords for banking sites like PayPal. Combine letters (both uppercase and lowercase) and numbers.
If all of this sounds too hard to remember, then consider using a password program. Most of the good password programs will not only store your passwords on your computer, but they'll generate completely random passwords when you need one.
It's never a good time to find out that someone has stolen money from you -- or locked you out of your own email account. It's a waste of your time and money. Please protect yourself.