3 On Your Side: Password Safety

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We do more of our day-to-day activities online and on Smartphones than ever before. So it makes sense to make sure our information is as secure as possible. But are you really doing the best job in keeping yourself safe?

With more Americans doing more things than ever with mobile devices and online, internet security expert Hemanshu Nigam recommends taking a few moments at the start of the year to focus on tech safety, starting with your passwords. You have different keys for your car, your home and your real-life valuables, so use the same caution online.

“Let’s use a different password for everything that matters, just like we use a different key for everything that matters,” Nigam says.

Before sharing information in a status update or tweet, think about whether you’d share that information with a stranger on the street.

Keep up with privacy policies on the websites you use, especially social media, and change settings when you need to. Nigam says, “Do I want to share the way it’s set to, or do I want to limit it; do I want to expand it to certain people and limit it to others? Take those five minutes, reset your privacy to the way you want it, and customize.”

It’s also a good time to review all of these things with your kids to make sure they’re staying safe online too. Security experts say that the most effective passwords include a combination of both numbers and letters, but that many of us aren’t being creative enough. In fact, recently the word “password” topped the list of worst passwords that people use each day. For a list of others, visit my blog here.

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