How To Protect Your Identity From Hackers

Managing your passwords across multiple websites can be difficult. But they are one of the most important keys in protecting your identity. Use these tips to strengthen your passwords and reduce the risk of becoming hacked.

Creating a strong password

Strong passwords involve a word or phrase that’s easy to remember but challenging for others to guess. In fact, some of the easiest passwords to crack involve names, birthdays, and keyboard patterns such as ‘qwerty or ‘1234.’ Hackers use advanced programs to steal passwords involving such information, which could be disastrous if you reuse the same password across multiple accounts. Your passwords have always been important, even more so today as hackers are finding new ways to get ahold of your information. Stop them in their tracks and consider these tips to create a strong password:

  • Use at least 12 characters. A 12-character password takes 62 trillion times longer to crack than a six-character password.
  • Include capitalization, numbers, and symbols to make your password more complex.
  • Consider acronyms of phrases: YdHtfbTdHtFy (You don’t have time for banks that don’t have time for you)
  • Use passphrases: As@nEmployee,ur@membr2! (As an employee, you’re a member too!)

Keep your passwords secure:

After you’ve created a strong password, keep it in a secure file to track. Avoid writing down your passwords on sticky notes or pieces of paper that could mistakenly be thrown away. One of the most common ways passwords are stolen is when they can be seen by others in a public space, so if you were to move your passwords, safely secure it in a bag and be wary of your surroundings.

If you prefer to track passwords digitally, consider enabling a two-step authentication to view your accounts with personal information. Both a password and one-time code sent to your email or phone could stop hackers from gaining access to your information. A multi-step authentication could also stop hackers if you were tricked into a phishing scam.

DO NOT send personal information, especially passwords, over email or text message even if it’s being sent to a trusted friend. Contact them through a second method of communication to verify.

Because criminals will continually attempt to get your password, take proactive steps to minimize the chance it could be stolen. 80% of hacking-related breaches are linked to passwords so use your best judgment when revealing your passwords.

Cinfed will never contact you to ask for personal information such as an account number, PIN, or social security number. Do not share it unless YOU initiate the communication.