Are your passwords a year or older? It’s time to make some changes.

A password is the vault door to your personal information, finances and secrets. Is your vault made of wood, brick or steel? If your password is the name or birthday of a loved one, you have to do better to protect yourself. Worse, if it’s 123456 or password you’re asking for someone to come and steal your information. Cyber theft is at an all-time high and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Even presidential candidates are having difficulty keeping their information private. Do yourself a favor and enable the tactics listed below to add layers of protection to your sensitive information.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication Password Protection

Two-factor authentication goes beyond your password. It’s a feature offered by Google and Apple, which ties your account to something you own like a cell phone number. When you log into a new device that Apple and Google aren’t familiar with, it will send your smartphone a text message with another pass code. You’ll need to enter this pass code on top of your password to get access to your accounts.

  • Learn more at Apple to protect your iOS devices
  • Learn more at Google to protect your Gmail accounts and Android devices

Stop storing passwords in a black book or in an unprotected file on your computer

I’ve seen way too many little black books with hand written passwords. This type of storage is asking for someone to take all of your personal information. It’s safer to just forget your password and reset it every time you need to log into a specific site.

There are quite a few digital vaults that protect and encrypt your passwords for you. Lastpass, Dashlane, Password Safe, Keeper Security and Roboform are all great options if you want to keep your passwords in one place.

Update your Passwords

If you have passwords that are over a year old, set a little time aside and come up with new ones. This is especially important if you use one password to log into all of your information. If a hacker gets access to your one password, they have access to everything. So make new passwords for your banking, cloud storage and email accounts and change them frequently.

Use a phrase to generate your next Password

I love my Mom more than anything in the world.” = password IlmMtaitw

There are terrible passwords. All you have to is come up with a phrase and take the first letter from each word to create a password. If you want to add extra security, feel free to add symbols somewhere in your password with numbers as well. You can replace the letter “A” with the “@” symbol to add an extra layer of security.

Make that vault door strong

Companies can only go so far in protecting your information. Do yourself a favor and take the time to invest in better passwords. Your secrets, finances and personal information will be a whole lot safer.

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