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Connecticut BBB Offers Tips to Keep Passwords Safe

Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 are most naive about password security. According to a report from the Internet security company Webroot.

 
PRLog - Jan. 31, 2011 - WALLINGFORD, Conn. -- Despite the constantly growing number of Internet security threats, most computer-literate people leave themselves open to hackers by ignoring basic rules about password protection.  These include sharing passwords, creating passwords from information on their social network profiles and using similar or identical logins and passwords for several sites.

Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 are most naïve about password security.  According to a report from the Internet security company Webroot, 54 percent have shared passwords with at least one person over the past year, compared with 40% of all users.  The study reveals young people are most careless about Internet security, increasing their chances of being hacked on password-protected pages.

“Password security is fairly simple,” according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti.  “It is surprising that Internet users put themselves at risk considering how easy it is to protect themselves.”BBB offers the following tips for creating and protecting online passwords:

1.Secure your computer – Protect your computers from hackers and malicious software attacks by using antivirus software, spyware blockers and cleaners, and a firewall.  Do not click on suspicious links in emails or on social network sites.  Every click has the potential to open the secure door to your computer and compromise your personal information

2.Don’t use the same password for multiple sites – Using malicious software unknowingly downloaded onto a computer, hackers are able to follow users around the Internet to capture visited sites and logins.  If a password is cracked for one site, a hacker will often try it on other sites that are regularly visited by the same user.

3.Create a safe password – The safest password employs a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and characters.  Passwords can be made safer by substituting a number for a letter and adding one or more characters in the mix. Strong passwords should be at least 8 characters in length.

4.Don’t “post you password” – Many people use information from their social network profiles to create passwords or password reset questions.  The most common are pets’ names and birthdates.  

5.Don’t store your passwords in a browser – Avoid the browser option to automatically store passwords, especially if other people use the same computer.  Empty the browser cache when you are finished online if other people share the computer.

6.Handle your passwords with care – Sharing a password with someone else is unwise, especially if they don’t practice password security or have an unsecured computer.

7.Protect your personal information even if you scrap your computer – Files can be read from the hard disk of a disposed computer, and on storage drives in printers and scanners.  Either physically destroy the hard disk by drilling through it or use software designed to wipe a computer disc clean.  Re-formatting a disk and erasing its contents does not stop a hacker from recovering your files.

A principal reason people use the same passwords for many sites is because of difficulty remembering complex combinations of letters, numbers and characters.  One way to get around that problem and generate secure passwords for all of your secure sites is by using password management software, available free online.  These programs securely store sites, logins and passwords, and may be used on any computer.  

Password security programs can automatically enter passwords into sites of your choice, allowing you to avoid the use of a keyboard.  This is an important function, since malicious software often relies upon keystrokes to capture login information and passwords.

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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.

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Contact Email:
***@ct.bbb.org Email Verified
Source:Howard Schwartz
Phone:203-269-2700 x 103
Zip:06492
Location:Wallingford - Connecticut - United States
Industry:Internet, Security, Consumer
Tags:password, safety, Internet, hack, malware, adcolescents, id, theft
Shortcut:prlog.org/11264225
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