As we head into the New Year, it may be time to give you online accounts a new password. The IRS urges everyone to review passwords and incorporate stronger standards to protect your accounts. In doing so you can help combat the impact cybercriminals have on the world wide web, as strong passwords help protect accounts from cybercriminal activity. Building a better password is as easy as one, two, three.
The longer a password is, the harder it is to crack. Most passwords range from six to ten characters. While that may make them easier for you to remember, they are also easier for cybercriminals to hack. A strong password will be upwards of 12-16 characters. Better to stretch your memory than try to recover your identity right?
Identify items that have personal meaning in your life. However, steer away from kids names and pets. Couple unique words together in your head, that no one else would ever suspect. For example, use your furniture, GreenChairPurpleStripes. Or better yet, interchange some of those letters with symbols and throw in a few numbers to really enhance the security. So not maybe your password becomes 19Gre3nCha!rPurp1e$tripes99. Whatever you use, ensure it is not easily guessable or found in a dictionary.
Maybe you are just plain out of ideas, so take a shortcut and utilize the site you are on to help you. For example, let’s say need to create a password for Amazon. Maybe you decide to incorporate the site name into your passphrase and you use !_<3_Am@z0N_Purcha$3s_ (I love Amazon… I’m constantly buying business books there). No matter the pattern you choose to use, establish one that you can easily remember.
Not only should you work at creating strong passwords, but you should also take a few other precautions as well:
As we move deeper into tax season, be aware of keeping your data protected. You never want to deal with identity fraud, but trying to deal with it during tax season will definitely increase your stress level.