Consumer Alert: Make sure to update passwords for online accounts frequently

Published: Oct. 11, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Society as a whole in online more than we have ever been, and hackers and scammers could see this as an open door.

The President and CEO of the National identity Theft Resource Center says anyone with an online account should make every attempt to keep their personal information safe, and that starts with passwords.

“Number one on my list - please strengthen your passwords and use unique passwords, there’s no silver bullet, no panacea that fixes everything, but using unique passwords and not overusing the same password and also changing them at a frequency level that’s appropriate for you,” said Eva Velasquez, the President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “Experts may vary on is it every 30 days, 90 days, is it every year, but if you haven’t changed your password, especially for something like a financial account or your e-mail, in five years, please go ahead and update that password. Use unique passwords”

Velazquez adds one of the ways people are hacking into accounts is because the hackers know we’re creatures of habit and we re-use the same passwords over and over.

“Because of all the data breaches, there have been thousands and thousands of data breaches, because that data is out there on another account, they can use these programs that just brute force usernames and passwords across multiple platforms. That’s how they’re getting in,” said Velazquez.

Experts say these tips will also help online consumers:

  • Make a password long, strong and complex
  • Use two factor authentication when available
  • Select security questions where only you know the answer

Cybersecurity experts will be posting to social media throughout October, which is National Cybersecurity Month, and are using #CyberSmart as a reminder for consumers to lower your risk.

Click here to find more information about the Identity Theft Resource Center, which is a non-profit organization, and offers free services.

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