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BizReport : Internet : October 09, 2013

Consumers: Top 3 tips to increase your online security

Okay, people be honest. When it comes to online security, many of us think it's all about the password, right? Unfortunately, passwords are only a small part of security in the online space. One online expert offers his advice for consumers to increase their online security.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Are consumers keeping their personal data under wraps or is there too much sharing going on?

Bill Carey, Siber Systems VP of Marketing: Consumers are becoming a lot more aware of the importance of passwords. That said, users are doing more activities online like paying bills, reviewing credit card statements and shopping. These online sites all require passwords, and users cannot generally remember more than a few different passwords. Therefore, users still take short cuts with their passwords, including using the same password for multiple sites, using easy to guess passwords, and still periodically share passwords with friends and co-workers.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for consumers in regards to their online security?

Bill: Take Responsibility: I always recommend that users take personal responsibility for their security. Users cannot control what security measures a company takes or whether or not a company will expose personally identifiable information. But users can take certain steps to better protect themselves.

Use Unique Passwords: The number one recommendation is to use a unique password for each website. By using unique passwords, users can limit the damage that is done when they are victim of a security breach. Instead of hackers potentially having access to the same password on other sites, the damage is limited to the one site.

Use Password Managers: Of course trying to remember strong, unique passwords for every site can be challenging. Therefore we recommend using tools like a password manager to help remember passwords and to login to websites automatically.

Kristina: What about consumers who don't like or trust password managers?

Bill: If you are opposed to using a password manager, then my second recommendation would be to use easy to remember, but hard to guess passwords. One way to do that is to come up with an expression and use the first letter of each word as your password. For example, "Pay no Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain" could be "PnAttMBtC." Add a special character to increase your password strength even more: "PnAttMBtC!"

A third recommendation is to limit your login activity outside the home. Try to avoid logging into websites on public Wi-Fi networks, particularly websites that store your sensitive information. You never know who could be watching and waiting to get their hands on those passwords.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer privacy, online security, security trends, Siber Systems

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  • Allan_Simmons

    This is exactly why I use RoboForm! RoboForm generates statistically secure passwords for me, but then also saves and replays then so I am not tasked with remembering each unique password. I highly recommend RoboForm to anyone concerned with security on the web or just looking to save some time when online.

  • Skyler Ramirez

    Bill gave some great tips, I had been using expressions prior to using a password manager and been using roboform myself since around 2009. Great system for sweepers and for people who suffer from forgetting things (it happens to the best of us). My son uses the free version for his college sites and was surprised his mom knew what she was talking about. Great article!



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