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Tech Tip of the Week: Navigating a Digital Life

Who could have guessed that one day passwords would rule our lives? It seems that everything these days requires you to log in and, if you log in, you can be tracked. If you are tracked that data provides insights into your habits, likes, etc. Remember, information is power in the digital age! Now more than ever you need to have robust passwords (here’s the catch) that are different. It is understanding that life is easier if you use one good password for everything, then there is never a doubt as to what your password is. The only problem is that if that one password is compromised, so is every account that also uses that password. Here are some basic tips: 

  • Longer = Better, instead of 8, try to use at least 12 characters 
  • Use letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols 
  • Be random 
  • Use a phrase
    • Make it a nonsense phrase 
  • Be grammatically incorrect 
  • Avoid sequential keystrokes 
  • Stay away from personal information  
    • Addresses, pet or kid’s names, schools 
    • Information found with a quick search or scan of social media 
  • Use multi-factor authentication 
  • Change passwords frequently 
    • The more sensitive the information, the more frequent the change 

You can further protect yourself by not writing down your passwords (especially on a sticky you attach to your laptop), not sharing your password with others, and avoiding logging into accounts when you are on a public computer (library) or unsecured Wi-Fi (Starbucks). If it sounds overwhelming, consider using a password manager. There are many free managers out there. Do a quick search of the reviews before settling on one, and make sure to read the good and the bad reviews on more than one site. The password manager can help you by storing your passwords, assisting with generating strong passwords, and keeping them safe in an encrypted space.