A few weeks ago, someone from Turkey broke into my PayPal account.
When I got the message, I was not too happy.
In fact, I panicked for just a brief second.
How did they get into my account? Why did they choose mine?
However, PayPal was all over it and Navy SEALs were breaking down doors within hours.
OK, maybe that part was in my imagination.
But, they did immediately lock my account and no access was permitted.
Are Your Passwords Dangerous?
My PayPal scare got me thinking and re-evaluating my password setup.
PayPal was not forthcoming with details and would not provide any information on how my account was broken into.
I was fairly confident that my account was not compromised by my password. I am pretty good about not sharing passwords across accounts. Nor do I use simple, easy to crack passwords.
Still it had me pondering the issue. And looking for a better and simpler way to manage my password strategy.
Are you guilty of using dangerous passwords?
You have probably seen the recent press about the “Worst Passwords of 2011.” If this article applies to you, then you need to take immediate action to remedy your password protection.
“You wouldn’t leave your house unlocked, with the garage door up and windows open. Would you?
Yet, this is how many people leave their online access and financial accounts.”
You may need better passwords if you…
– Use the Same Password for Multiple Accounts – Do you have 1 password that you use across all your accounts? If someone gets your password, can they get into all of your accounts?
– Use Simple Words or Your Kids’ Names – Is your password, “PlayGolf2011?” Or, “SamMaryKatie?” These passwords make your account much easier to crack.
– Never Change Them – How long has your online banking password been the same? Change it at least once a year. Every six months is better.
– Store Them in Unsafe Places – Do you “hide” your passwords in easy to find places? In a Word doc called, “passwords?” Under your keyboard at work? Or taped to your laptop?
If these sound like you… you are living dangerously.
You need better passwords.
Secure Those Passwords
Why do we want to secure our passwords?
Well, for one, passwords are a large source of wasted time.
Especially, what I like to call self-inflicted time management. In other words, we cause ourselves a lot of problems with our passwords.
How much time do you waste:
– Trying to remember your passwords?
– Trying to retrieve them?
– Resetting lost passwords?
– Trying to make up new passwords?
And you will waste a lot of time when one of your accounts is compromised.
Here are 5 Tips For Better, Safer passwords:
- Get a Password Manager – There are many great ones out there. Use a software app to manage your passwords and more importantly to store them in a safe format.
- Use Difficult Passwords – Stop using simple words and names for your passwords. A better password than “PlayGolf” is “N4s%pBRg7!”
- Change Them Regularly – Don’t leave your key passwords the same for extended periods. If you must, choose a time each year that you change all of your passwords.
- Don’t Use the Same Password – Most people use 1 password for all their accounts. Don’t let this be you.
- DO IT TODAY – This is one of the tasks that people put off. They will get to it someday. But, it will catch up to you. Fix your passwords before you have a problem.
Psst, What’s Your Password?
By being smart about your passwords, you will save yourself time and avoid life friction.
It will take more time to clean up after your passwords are compromised, than to set safe ones in the first place.
Stop back tomorrow if you want to see how I manage my passwords.
I will introduce you to a powerful tool that will allow you to safely, securely, and most importantly, effortlessly manage your passwords.
Are you guilty of using unsafe passwords? How do you manage your passwords?