Account and password security - Tips

Here are some suggestions to keep your account and online activities private and secure:

  1. Never let the system remember any of your passwords. While systems provide this as a matter of convenience, this is the most common 'hack'.
  2. Password-protect your Windows system so that when it goes to sleep, you have to enter a password to get back in.
  3. Don't write your password down where somebody can find it.
  4. Don't leave your account logged on if others can access your computer/device.
  5. Always choose a strong password
    • Never use a word that can be found in a dictionary.
    • Never use User ID, kids names, birthdays, friends names or a password related to the site.
    • Make it lengthy (at least 8 characters long). The longer the password, the more secure it is.
    • Combine letters, numbers and symbols.
  6. Never share your account password with anyone. You wouldn't let someone else access your online banking account, so why let someone else access your account?
  7. Don't use the same password in any two locations. We know it's easier to use the same password everywhere, but this also makes it easy for hackers.
  8. When changing passwords, never re-use an older password, nor any variation of it.
  9. Don't fall prey to scams and hustles where others want to access your account. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone chats with you online claiming to be your close buddy who wants a loan...call and ask first.
  10. Never log into Windows to play as Administrator or equivalent. Use a restricted user account to ensure keyloggers or Trojans have a much more difficult time gaining access.
  11. Windows Firewall won't protect you sufficiently, as it only blocks attacks from the outside from getting in. Use one of the following: Norton, McAfee, ZoneAlarm, Kaspersky. Additionally, use at least two good spyware scanners.
  12. Virus/Trojan/Spyware Scanners only detect things they know about. It's still possible to catch a customized piece of spyware or a keylogger that has never been reported to the scanner authors. Exercise good judgment when deciding what to download.
  13. Here's the hard one: don't play from anybody else's computer/device. Consider this: you go to all the trouble to protect your computer/device and account with the steps we've outlined above. Then you sit down at somebody else's laptop/device and type in your user ID and password. Now there's a new risk, as this other person now has your ID and password and you don't know if this person's computer is safe.

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