Identity theft is a terrible problem in our world today with millions of families suffering terrible consequences. If you have not been the victim of identity theft the chances are that you know someone who has and who is still dealing with the impact of that crime. Identity theft might not sound particularly serious, but it is just as bad as a break in or mugging. After an identity theft you feel just as helpless and violated as you would after a regular home break in. With the invention of the Internet, identity theft has only become a worse problem because of the ease with which people share information.
Put simply, people are just too trusting with their personal information online. They type emails, write on blogs, bank, and purchase all sorts of products with credit cards. All of this is great because it helps to expand the total amount of communication in the world and to increase business opportunities. However, with information moving so quickly and anonymously the opportunity to collect information inappropriately has become easy to obtain. Thieves have taken advantage of this situation and are making millions of dollars each year stealing our hard earned money. Let’s make it harder for them by learning a little bit about passwords. By following just a few basic guidelines we can help to fight the war against identity theft.
Perhaps the best thing to learn about making a good password is what not to do when you make a password. There are tons of great passwords out there that will stump just about anyone, but there are a handful of bad passwords that just about anyone could break into. These are a few of the bad password ideas that you need to avoid:
1. Social security number
3. Name of your spouse, pet, child, or friend
4. A password that is either all numbers or all letters
5. Your phone number or the number of your spouse
6. Never ever leave the password blank or use the word password
I have heard someone say that you might also want to never use a word that actually appears in a dictionary. This might be a little extreme, but it is certainly true that guessing a nonsense word is much more difficult than guessing an actual word. This kind of password might be very difficult to remember, so you will want to practice using it and perhaps make some sort of trick for memorization.
Another good idea is to periodically change your password so that even if someone has access to your account with the old one they will lose that access immediately. Regardless of whether or not you suspect someone of having obtained such access you should still change your password to help protect your accounts. If you suspect anyone of having discovered your password you should immediately change your password.
Following some basic rules you can help to ensure the safety of your accounts and your identity. By simply changing a password every couple of months you could save you or your loved ones thousands of dollars and the terrible heartache of an identity theft. If you want to be responsible with your identity and your money you need to be cautious about the way you make passwords and manage them. There are many ways to protect your passwords and it doesn’t take long to learn about them. Inform your family about password protection and rest assured that you have helped to keep them safe. Be smart and protect yourself from identity theft!