(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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Haitian foster children arrive in Nelson after months-long lobbying effort

Marie-Paule Brisson and Sebastien De Marre have parented girls age 12 and 8 since they were babies

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read