(leakhena khat/Flickr)

When was the last time you changed your important passwords?

For National Password Day, and the BBB has some tips for increasing your online security

Long, strong and unique – those are three factors that make a good password, according to the Better Business Bureau.

On Monday, which marks National Password Day, the bureau is calling on people to take a minute and change their passwords for all their primary online accounts, such as banking, social media and shopping sites.

“In an era with data breaches, ransomware attacks and sextortion emails, strong passwords are more important than ever,” said Karla Laird, manager of public relations with BBB serving Mainland BC.

“Creating strong passwords and changing them at least twice per year is one simple but effective strategy to protect your personal information and accounts from being compromised.”

According to findings published in the latest MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report, the first six months of 2019 saw more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches, exposing 4.1 billion compromised records globally.

Phishing emails and compromised passwords were the top reasons for exposure.

ALSO READ: B.C. warns of phone scam offering to sell fake COVID-19 testing

For the strongest password protection, the bureau recommends these tips:

Avoid the obvious: Do not use your children’s names, pet’s names, notable dates or any information that can be traced back to someone or something important to you. Hackers often look through your information to try and find patterns. Use between eight to 12 characters and a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

ALSO READ: Young B.C. family expected new puppy to arrive at airport, got scam instead

Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Choose a new and unique password for each account you have. While it may be difficult to remember multiple passwords, the alternative could mean devastating financial losses and identity theft.

Find a reliable password manager. They can help to keep track of and manage your passwords. Consider investing in a trustworthy password manager that is compatible across devices. Reputable password management apps also recommend strong and unique passwords, provide encryption to securely store any passwords you create, and typically require two-factor authentication.

Use your fingerprint to secure mobile devices. Some devices also facilitate eye scanning. These methods are some of the best ways to protect your information because they use body parts that are unique to you and cannot be duplicated or altered in any way.

Implement two factor authentication. This can involve the use of a PIN and a password and a series of security questions. It can also include the use of a security key. The only way to access the account is to have both pieces of the puzzle to unlock the code. If one piece is wrong, you cannot access the account.

Maintain your virtual health. The same principle behind tossing out your old toothbrush and changing your underwear should apply to changing your passwords. Change them often, keep them private and do not share them with anyone. The longer passwords stay unchanged, the greater the chances of it being compromised and deciphered by a hacker.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Scams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Grade 7 Trafalgar students show off posters they put up around downtown Nelson with information about residential schools. Photo: Tyler Harper
Trafalgar class puts up residential school history posters downtown

The Grade 7 students made their own websites and QR codes

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read