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Passwords are the only things preventing unauthorized people from accessing your personal information, money, and images. This not only includes your social media accounts, but also your banking, medical records, and online work. Because we must remember so many passwords, it is common for people to use the same password for multiple accounts. This practice puts every aspect of your online life at risk because a criminal only needs to hack one password to gain access to everything. Passwords can often be reset through your primary email. If criminals gain access to your primary email, they can reset all your passwords.
If your passwords are compromised, a criminal can steal your identity, empty your bank accounts, and release all your personal information and photographs to the public. Social media makes hacking passwords easier because password recovery programs often ask for information revealed on social media. Examples include your mother's maiden name, your pet's name, or your high school mascot.
The obvious solution is to create different complicated passwords for each account that are not discoverable from analyzing your social media activity. Before you write this off as impossible, try this useful password technique. Find a phrase that you associate with the account, then use representations for each word. Attempt to use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. For example, the phrase "I turned my passwords from bad to great"could be !tmPW$fb2gr@8. Experiment and have fun. Just remember not to use the same one for every account. Even the most secure password can put your entire online life at risk if it is revealed.
For example, if you save your passwords on your smart phone and it is stolen, the complexity of your passwords will be irrelevant. This is why everyone must have a security code on their smart phones. A high school teacher was fired after a 16 year old student stole her smart phone from her desk and shared naked pictures of the teacher that were on the phone with other students on social media. The teacher took the photos for her husband and did not post them online. However, because her phone was unlocked she lost her job. The school superintendent decided her lack of a security code was equivalent to allowing the student access.
If you use a public computer to access your account, there is a record of the password you typed in. Always clear the browsing data and cookies after you use a public computer. Also change your passwords on a regular basis. If a criminal pursues you long enough they can figure out your passwords. Changing them every few months will help keep you safe.
For more options, see the Your Options page of this website.
keeping you and your family safe