6 On Your Side Answers: How to protect your online passwords

6 On Your Side Answers: How to protect your online passwords


6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

The encryption flaw called the "Heartbleed Bug" is already being called on the biggest security threats the internet has ever seen. The bug has affected everyday websites and services like gmail and Facebook, potentially exposing passwords and credit card numbers.

Recently, security threats have been making quit a new splash in the news whether that involves situations where a user's information either has been compromised or potentially could be compromised and now comes the Heartbleed web security flaw. It has nearly everyone saying it is a good idea to update all your online passwords.

Jean from Bean Station asked what can she do to better protect her passwords?

If you use a password that is easy to remember, chances are it is not a "strong" password. A strong password based on how "easy" it is for a hacker to either guess or use what's called a "brute force attack" technique involving your computer.

The department of homeland security recommends that no one use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed, like your spouse's name, or a child's name and birth years. Don't use the most common passwords, like, 123456 or 12345678. Those are the two most commonly used according to password management company, Splash Data.

When you change passwords, use lower case and capital letters and use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Also use different passwords for different systems.

Remembering passwords can be difficult, especially if you change them up. Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords.

You can see Don Dare's 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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