Recently, LinkedIn suffered a security breach that compromised over 6.5 million user passwords. Public postings of those passwords were published on online hacking sites, although many passwords were still in an encrypted format. LinkedIn does not believe that any user names were exposed in conjunction with those passwords. Following the breach, LinkedIn contacted members whose passwords were hacked, temporarily disabled their access and required that they reset their passwords.
In the wake of a breach of this magnitude, we are again reminded about the importance of securing and updating our online passwords.
Complex is good
It’s important to use a “complex” password with a series of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Increasing a password’s complexity increases your security. The biggest complaint I hear is that passwords are hard to remember. Here’s a trick: Using a phrase, you can create a strong password that’s easy to remember. For example, A41&14a is an easy-to-remember acronym for “All for one and one for all.”
Categorizing is good
Don’t use the same password to access all or many of your online accounts. You wouldn’t lock your home, car, office and safe with the same key, so consider varying the logins and passwords for different sites to maximize security.
One option is categorizing your passwords by security level. For example, sites like online banking, PayPal and investment brokerages may be more important to protect with your strongest, most complex passwords; whereas sites for photos, travel and music may be safe to use with less complex, easier to remember passwords.
Change is good
Even if you have strong passwords; you should keep them fresh. Passwords should be updated every few months. It may be helpful to change your password protected websites on a rotating cycle to be sure that you are always using an up-to-date, secure password.
Stay safe online by being cautious and prepared. As always, if you suspect your Pacific Service CU accounts have been compromised, contact us immediately so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information.
by Nannette, Technology Solutions Group