When is the last time you reviewed the passwords to your bank account, e-mail or credit card accounts?
Today is a good day to do it. Why? It’s National Password Day. Together with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), we are sharing tips to make your passwords more secure.
- Make your password long, strong and complex. That means at least twelve characters, mixed with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words, phrases or information in your passwords.
- Don’t reuse passwords used on other accounts. Use different passwords for different accounts so that if a hacker compromises one account, he can’t access other accounts.
- Use multi-factor authentication, when available. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.
- Consider a password manager. Most people have trouble keeping track of all their passwords. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a reputable password manager, an easy-to-access application that stores all your password information. Use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager.
- Select security questions only you know the answer to. Many security questions ask for answers to information available in public records or online, like your zip code, mother’s maiden name, and birth place. That is information a motivated attacker can obtain. Don’t use questions with a limited number of responses that attackers can easily guess – like the color of your first car.
- Change passwords quickly if there is a breach. If you receive a notification from a company about a possible breach, change that password and any account that uses a similar password immediately.
For more information on keeping your information secure, check out our article on Computer Security.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
I have serious concerns we have been receiving phone calls via recorded messages stating 4 files on in my husband name owning back taxes! Which don’t and that the cops are coming to pick him up if we don’t respond. These calls are repeated day after day and we change the number and the very same day received the same calls to the new number! What can we do to stop these callers??
In reply to I have serious concerns we by aguileml
This FTC article about blocking unwanted calls has some ideas for you.
In reply to The FTC is not properly by tom0153