Keeping passwords confidentialAttorney General offers tips to protect online accounts
According to recent news reports, passwords for some users of professional networking site LinkedIn and dating site eHarmony may have been leaked online. Google has also started warning users about possible state-sponsored cyber attacks against Gmail accounts. To protect your passwords and your accounts, NC Attorney General Roy Cooper offers some suggestions:
- Set passwords for your online accounts, computers and cell phones and keep them private.
- Change your password every few months, and whenever you’re notified that it may have been compromised—but watch out for bogus emails that try to steal your personal information. If you need to change your password, go to a website you know to be valid instead of following links from what may be a fraudulent email.
- Avoid using easily available information for your password such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, your street address or phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers (for example, 1234).
- Also, avoid using information like your child’s name or pet’s name as a password or security question, especially if that information can be easily gathered from your Facebook page or other social networking activity.
- Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Take advantage of additional security features offered by some email providers and social networking sites. These features can allow you to verify which computers and devices are allowed to access your accounts, added protection in case someone gets your password.