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Yesterday morning eBay announced that they had been hacked and customers information such as’ names,  addresses, birth dates, and passwords may have been compromised. Even though the passwords were encrypted, the company is advising all customers to change their passwords to be safe.

Protect Yourself and Your Passwords

There is no guarantee that you will never be hacked, but with a few simple precautions you can make it that much harder for criminals to harm you.

  • Never use personal information in your password. Though you may remember your password easier, do not include your child’s name, a family’s birth date, or your  other personal information.
  • Have different passwords with accounts. With some many online services, it can be so tempting to use the same password. That can put your personal information in danger as
  • Don’t use a default password. Even with stories of massive cyber attacks, some people still use easy passwords like ‘password’ and ‘1234’ for their accounts. While having something you can remeber is important, you need to be more proactive with creating passwords.
  • Use two step verification. In addition to logging in with your username and password, two step verification requires that you also give a code that is sent to your phone. Slightly more work, but it can significantly secure your accounts.

So if you have some time today, go ahead and make those changes.

Make Stronger Passwords

How can you create a stronger password without making it obscure and completely impossible to remember? One way to make your password memorable and harder to break is using pass phrases or sentences.

Let’s say you use the phrase ‘eat more foods’. When you swap in numerals and symbols it becomes ’3a+m0r3f00d$’. It looks more complicated, but it’s just as easy to remember as the original phrase.

Beware of Phishing Attacks

Now that personal information is out, you need to be on guard for password phishing. Scammer may contact you through email and ask you to change your password. The link included will most likely take you to a site site that looks just like eBay, but it will be their site.

To make sure you are changing your password on the real site, go to eBay yourself and enter your new password.

Thoughts on Protecting Your Passwords

I’d love to hear from you. How do you keep your passwords safe?

Photo Credit: eguidry

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..