Want to protect yourself from identity theft? Nick Forcier, CEO of Large Software, has a few tips to keep your information safe and protected.
Keep ‘Em Guessing – Never use the names of pets, relatives, nicknames, dates of birth, and other personal information to create a username, login or password. Identity theft experts have become savvy at finding out these details, so it’ crucial to choose usernames and passwords that are disassociated from your personal history.
Keep it Fresh – Avoid using the same login and password across multiple sites and/or accounts. If a thief gains access to one, it could be a bigger problem if they get into all of your accounts.
Bigger is Better! – Cliché but true. Shorter passwords are more susceptible to commercially available password recovery software, which is capable of testing 200,000 passwords per second. To improve the strength of your password, find one that includes a minimum of 8 characters – using both upper and lower case letters and a mix of letters, numerals and symbols.
Think Like a Thief- Put yourself in their shoes and start thinking about predictable passwords. Avoid sequential letters and numbers and even adjacent letters on your keyboard. Criminals and other malicious users who know enough to crack your password will not be easily fooled.
Consider a Password Manager– There are many decent applications on the market that will digitally safeguard your various passwords. Avoid using the free ones “built-in” to browsers as these have been widely exposed for their security flaws. However, software like Password Manager by Large Software which will memorize and securely stores each username and password that you enter on a Web site and even help you to generate a password if you’re having difficulty coming up with a secure login on your own.