Password protection
Don’t make things easy for hackers to compromise your accounts.
Do you use “123456,” “Qwerty” or “Password” as PINs to access any of your online accounts? These are the top three passwords leaked to the dark web — a nefarious section of the internet where your personal data can be sold.

The reality is that 80% of consumers’ emails are on the dark web. Why is all that spam in your junk folder? Your email has been sold. If you go for ease of remembering your passwords instead of hard-to-crack passwords, it’s time to reconsider and increase security.

Consider these tips when setting your next password:
  • The longer the better. Create a complicated password by using the full 16 digits usually offered.
  • Use two-factor authentication. Set up your PIN to ask for verification by another method. That way you’ll know immediately (via text or email) if someone is trying to compromise your account.
  • Mix it up. Never use the same password twice.
  • Don’t make it personal. Using your name, birthday or the street you live on will make things easier for someone trying to access our account.
  • Change them frequently. Given enough time, anyone can crack or guess a password.
Bridget McCrea is a freelance business and technology writer in Florida.