Mister Private’s job is to defend your privacy, but he can’t do it alone. You, citizen, can help him in his quest. In this digital age, when all of your information is housed on computer systems, you need to create a super-safe password that no one will be able to guess. It’s important to put a password on all important accounts, and something simple like your mother’s maiden name or the name of your childhood pet won’t cut it. There are numerous computer programs designed to crack passwords, so you should use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. It’s a good idea to put the numbers in the middle of the word, like “Mi2ster3Pri7v6ate.” Some folks recommend using a word in a different language—something that coworkers definitely wouldn’t be able to guess, like “Se2nor3Pri7v6ado.” Also, the longer the password, the harder it is to guess, so use a phrase instead of just one word.
|Keep Your Password Secure|
The average office worker has ten passwords! A helpful tip is to use the same ending for every password. Let’s use “Mi2ster3Pri7v6ate.” Then, at the beginning, add an abbreviation for the program or account. For example, Windows would be “WdwsMi2ster3Pri7v6ate.” Outlook would be “OtlkMi2ster3Pri7v6ate.” Barry Manilow Fan Club would be “BmanMi2ster3Pri7v6ate.” You can also keep a list of your passwords so you don’t forget them. You should keep this list in a locked cabinet or somewhere that villains won’t be looking. Don’t keep it near your computer or in your desk. That’s the first place they’ll look. If anyone calls or e-mails you and asks for your passwords, always be skeptical and don’t respond. Call the company directly and verify that they need your information.
You should change your passwords every six months. And always remember to log out of your accounts, so you won’t leave your information in danger.