In many circumstances, some online banking passwords, sunscreen and in most cases, potatoes expire at some point. No one likes when you reach into that bag and your ‘spuds are mushy and full of sprouts, or when that sunscreen you had to remortgage your house to purchase turns into a runny mess. Passwords are like that, without the mess, but nonetheless can be frustrating when they expire and we’ve forgotten how to update them.
Most people hate changing passwords, but it is a necessary evil. The fraudsters are using everything from malware to phishing scams and everything in between will require you to update your passwords, as well, some expire outright.
Some folks just use the same password for everything. While convenient, if somebody gets ahold of this one password, then they can use it to access all your accounts, just like giving them the key to your house, car, work, safe deposit box and mailbox in one go.
Secure password software can keep your passwords varied, and that is probably the best method, but only if you have access to, and use the software. There are good password programs out there, just make sure that they work as well on your phone and tablet as they do on your desktop or laptop, so that you can access your passwords over many devices. Pro tip: don’t put them in a word file or ‘notes’ on your phone called “Passwords”. They are unprotected if someone ever gets access to your phone or computer.
Encrypted password management apps that you can have on your phone that store your passwords are a great option, such as Secure Safe or KeePassX. Pro-tip, don’t forget that password.
There is another method of keeping passwords called the common key method, where you start with a “key” of five or six letters, which should contain symbols, a capital letter and a number, which according to experts, is very difficult to hack. Adding numbers onto the end can allow you to keep the “key” in place for future passwords, with only the numbers changing. For example, if you wanted to create your key as “JoeSm@!!” you can add the year, or a number that you can remember, and adjust each year, like “JoeSm@!!20” or always add 5 to the year, so it’s “JoeSm@!!25” for 2020.
You can also use methods that use two or three word sentences that are easier to remember, but keep in mind you should still use capitals, numbers and special characters to try and prevent the hackers an easy button into your personal accounts. Changing passwords are just one of the ways you need to keep your personal accounts and information secure. To keep your personal banking information secure, sign up for alerts that can notify you if someone has hacked into your online banking. Those alerts can send you a text message when someone other than you accesses your account, sets up a new payee or bill payment (which is classic ways hackers remove the money from your account). Most banks have these alerts in place on their online banking. To set up yours or learn more, go to our Encompass website here.