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Tech Matters: YOU and YOUR passwords

NEVER EVER EVER EVER give your password to anyone – whether its family, friends, work colleagues, etc. It’s NEVER a good idea, so just don’t!

Don’t just use ONE password for everything, from emails, to banking, to your phone. Have different passwords that you use and DON’T save your passwords on your phone. If you have to – write it on good old fashioned paper under a ‘code’ so that nobody knows what it is if they find your paper

Newest trend in Passwords : a PASS-PHRASE like #NewYear2019 or [email protected]! Or Making$in2019**. Also, use an acronym for a really long pass-phrase e.g. ‘My friend John Does is a really cool dude’ could be [email protected] … get the picture!

Size Matters or rather length does: passwords should be no less than 8 characters, even when 6 is required. Only when you are restricted should you stick to the number of characters. The longer the password, the safer it is. Fact!

Add some flavour : different characters, with no particular logical pattern (other than to you), is always a good idea, so use upper and lower case, use $ or 5 instead of an S, or @ instead of an ‘A’. Remember there are people who have written algorithms and have software that are constantly trying to unravel people’s passwords, so change things up, and the more it ONLY makes sense to you, the better

Multi-factor authentication is your BFF. Many services offer an option to verify your identity if someone logs on to your account from an unrecognised device. The typical method is to send a text or other type of message to a mobile device registered to you with a code you need to type in to verity it’s really you. In most cases, you will not be required to use this code when logging on from a known device such as your own computer, tablet or phone.

Don’t fall for “phishing” attacks. Be very careful before clicking on a link (even if it appears to be from a legitimate site) asking you to log in, change your password or provide any other personal information. It might be legit or it might be a “phishing” scam where the information you enter goes to a hacker. It may take a few seconds longer, but rather log on manually by typing what you know to be the site’s URL into your browser window, especially your bank’s URL

Burglar guards for online – active security : Make sure your devices are secure. Have a mindset about online security the way you do about your homes and cars. You can have the most secure password in the world, but if you forget to logout of free wifi at the coffee shop, or you let someone ‘look over your shoulder’ while typing in your password, then a great password is futile. Malicious software, including “keyboard loggers” that record all of your keystrokes, has been used to steal passwords and other information. To increase security, make sure you’re using up-to-date anti-malware software and that your operating system is up-to-date, on all your devices

Your phone could be your biggest risk. We do everything on our phones, including our banking, using Snapscan, or ordering Uber – all these apps have access to our finances. But, due to our own convenience, we also don’t make it hard for other people to access it. The latest smartphones have the best ‘access’ (security) technology in the world – USE IT!!!! And to it’s full capacity. Change your pattern regularly, change your password regularly, use both interchangeably, fingerprint technology and not only facial recognition is available on all smartphones on the market today – use it all, and change things up all the time. Don’t let the phone, and it’s AI get used to a pattern on your behaviour.

Remember, one thing when it comes to safety online : inconsistency is your friend. Stay Safe, stay secure… Because… YOUR Tech, Matters!