How to build better password habits (and think twice about social media lists)

It’s no secret that with more and more people having multiple email, bank, and online shopping accounts, remembering a strong and unique password for each one can be a headache.

But thieves are lurking on the internet, looking to build a profile about you.

“One of the things that people don’t recognize is that in an increasingly digital society that you have much more exposure because of the number of passwords and accounts that are out there that are secured with your passwords,” said Greg Dunn, CEO of Better Business Bureau Hawaii.

That also means limiting the amount of information you share on social media.

A Facebook game that’s been circulating on the internet lately asks users to list 10 concerts they’ve attended, with one of them being fake. A person’s Facebook friends are asked to guess which one is fake.

“If you think about that, what this does is now you’re putting into the public arena nine points of data information that only you know,” Dunn said. “If you now go and look at when you change your password at the bank, one of the key security questions that they ask for the two-factor authentication is what is the last concert you attended, or what was the first concert you attended.”

Thursday marks World Password Day, a day when internet users are being urged to use better password habits. The Better Business Bureau Hawaii suggests:

  • Creating passwords with a mix of upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols,
  • Use a different password for each account,
  • Password-protect your mobile devices, and
  • Change your password regularly.

“Our worst fear is that you have people that understand technology so much better than you do that are capable of using the technology against you and using it to lure you into giving your information,” Dunn said.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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