When I was a kid, the only password I needed to remember was the one that got me into my friend’s treehouse or into an imaginary room in my living room guarded by my sister. Things have definitely changed since then. In this generation, our children (and us parents) need a password for just about everything – email accounts, cellphones, voicemail, social media sites, bank accounts – you get the pictures. Everything.
In September, the 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report was released and the results were eye-opening. Nearly four out of every ten Canadians admitted they don’t use complex passwords or change their passwords frequently. A total of 47 per cent of adults said they were notified to change their password, because their password or privacy had been compromised. In this environment, we need to make sure that we have a chat with our children to make sure they know the importance of a strong password and what can happen if someone else gains access to one of their accounts.
Here are some basic tips to help your household protect your online accounts:
- It should be something you can remember, but something another person couldn’t guess.
- You should have a unique password for each account, in case one gets compromised.
- Use a password manager to make it easier [Identity Safe Link]
- Passwords should be at least 8 characters in length, have a mix of UPPER and lower case, numbers and symbols.
Remember, your email address is the gateway to all of your other accounts, so be extra conscious of this account and change your password frequently.
Courtesy of Lynn Hargrove, Director of Consumer Solutions for Symantec Canada