How many passwords do you have floating around out there? A
hack at MySpace reminds us just how important it is to regularly
revisit password security.
While a MySpace account may be a thing of your past, the significance of this
hack is the personal information that would have been stored on the site (and
is now for sale on the black market,) specifically your email address and
password combination. Having a strong, varied password is essential to
protecting your identity online, and the security of everything from your
social media accounts to online banking and your email depends on it.
So, what is the best way to protect yourself?
If you remember the password you used for MySpace, make sure it is NOT the same
password you have associated with other web accounts you own. Conversely, if
you do not remember the password you used, but think it may have been one that
you commonly used on social accounts, consider changing your other passwords.
Use unique, strong passwords for all of your online accounts and vary them
between sites so that one stolen password does not lead to multiple breached
accounts. Create strong, alpha-numeric-symbol based passwords that are at least
13 characters to protect your information from online criminals. Make the
password something easy to remember and associated with the name, for example:
if you bank at the University Hills branch, your password might be “The Hills
Are Alive” coded as “Th3 h!ll$ @r3 @l!v3.”
Invest in password protection software. Accessible to you with one strong,
master password, password managers help you create, store, organize and
conveniently access long, strong, varied passwords for hundreds of sites, like
1Password and LastPass.
If your current email address is tied to a MySpace account,
be cautious of phishing emails that could try to trick you.