(leakhena khat/Flickr)

When was the last time you changed your important passwords?

For National Password Day, and the BBB has some tips for increasing your online security

Long, strong and unique – those are three factors that make a good password, according to the Better Business Bureau.

On Monday, which marks National Password Day, the bureau is calling on people to take a minute and change their passwords for all their primary online accounts, such as banking, social media and shopping sites.

“In an era with data breaches, ransomware attacks and sextortion emails, strong passwords are more important than ever,” said Karla Laird, manager of public relations with BBB serving Mainland BC.

“Creating strong passwords and changing them at least twice per year is one simple but effective strategy to protect your personal information and accounts from being compromised.”

According to findings published in the latest MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report, the first six months of 2019 saw more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches, exposing 4.1 billion compromised records globally.

Phishing emails and compromised passwords were the top reasons for exposure.

ALSO READ: B.C. warns of phone scam offering to sell fake COVID-19 testing

For the strongest password protection, the bureau recommends these tips:

Avoid the obvious: Do not use your children’s names, pet’s names, notable dates or any information that can be traced back to someone or something important to you. Hackers often look through your information to try and find patterns. Use between eight to 12 characters and a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

ALSO READ: Young B.C. family expected new puppy to arrive at airport, got scam instead

Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Choose a new and unique password for each account you have. While it may be difficult to remember multiple passwords, the alternative could mean devastating financial losses and identity theft.

Find a reliable password manager. They can help to keep track of and manage your passwords. Consider investing in a trustworthy password manager that is compatible across devices. Reputable password management apps also recommend strong and unique passwords, provide encryption to securely store any passwords you create, and typically require two-factor authentication.

Use your fingerprint to secure mobile devices. Some devices also facilitate eye scanning. These methods are some of the best ways to protect your information because they use body parts that are unique to you and cannot be duplicated or altered in any way.

Implement two factor authentication. This can involve the use of a PIN and a password and a series of security questions. It can also include the use of a security key. The only way to access the account is to have both pieces of the puzzle to unlock the code. If one piece is wrong, you cannot access the account.

Maintain your virtual health. The same principle behind tossing out your old toothbrush and changing your underwear should apply to changing your passwords. Change them often, keep them private and do not share them with anyone. The longer passwords stay unchanged, the greater the chances of it being compromised and deciphered by a hacker.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Scams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read