How Secure Are Your Online PasswordsWith stolen identity cases on the rise, the Better Business Bureau urges consumers and businesses to review password security and has released their annual “worst passwords” list:

​• 12345
​• qwerty
​• 12345678
​• password
​• 123456

Are you wondering what “qwerty” is? Take a look at the top row of letters from left to right on your computer keyboard…see it? It is safe to say that if you have used any of the passwords listed above, the BBB has recommended you change them immediately to avoid being the next identity theft victim.

The BBB has also offered the following tips when creating or changing passwords:

  • Use a separate password for each online account. Although it’s certainly easier to remember one single password, it will help the fight against cybercriminals.
  • Experts urge users to create a password that include letters (lower and uppercase), numbers and special characters ($%@*^). If you have a 5 character password, adding a random number or symbol will make it that much harder for someone to figure out. Strong passwords should never contain pet names, names of books, movies, or anything else you post on social media.
  • Consider using a two-step verification…it adds another level of protection by asking the user for a special code before each login. The code is sent to your email or cell phone (text) each time you access that account. Unless a hacker has your actual device it will add an extra layer of protection.
  • DON’T use dictionary words…some hackers actually have software that can guess common words used in the dictionary.
  • Try to avoid entering passwords in public, like a library or internet cafe. If you are using a public wi-fi signal, a hacker can get into your device fairly quickly.
  • And make sure you have a list of your passwords and always keep it in a secure location, away from the computer. We may not be able to stop it….but we can make it difficult – if not impossible – to get into our personal information!