(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

“I call her my adopted daughter”: Salmon Arm couple embrace student exchange experience

Rotary Youth Exchange students choose to shelter in place during COVID-19 pandemic

Chamber steps up for Sicamous businesses trying to stay open

Organization creates directory of changes businesses have made in response to COVID-19

Salmon Arm firefighters sound sirens in support of hospital staff

Fire chief hopes to have more emergency responders involved in upcoming parade

Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Clinic will not be a walk-in centre, residents must call family doctor or nurse practioner first

Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Salvation Army’s Lighthouse shelter to stay open beyond normal closing date of April 1

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Demand doubles at Revelstoke food bank

Community Connections concerned whether they can meet increasing need

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Lake Country athlete selected to participate in national training program

Volleyball player Chloe Ladd will be heading to the Lower Mainland in the fall

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Super Beaver Task Force: April Fool’s Day joke lightens weight of COVID-19 uncertainty

Ducks Unlimited Canada enlists beavers’ help to protect wetlands in unconventional way

Solar panels installed at Summerland’s municipal hall

Power from energy project expected to provide five per cent of building’s power use

COVID-19: Okanagan College student pens petition for pass/fail grades

Optional pass/fail program would reduce stress, recognize students’ challenges faced in pandemic

Most Read