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Hedge Your Bets Against Identity Theft.

It seems every day there’s another news story about some thief’s action s affecting sometimes hundreds of thousands or millions of people as they’ve gotten hold of supposedly proprietary information. May brought Twitter to its knees with announcements to its 336 million users to change passwords after admitting they’d been compromised by a bug. Retailers, credit bureaus and even the IRS have all been recent targets donning egg on their face with admissions of vulnerabilities.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can manage your household to reduce your risks as the hackers go trolling.

  1. Change your passwords often. This sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how many people (not you, of course) fail to do this. Banks require it for a reason. Set up a regular practice of switching things up to make access harder and you’ll reduce risk significantly.
  2. Set up a two-factor authentication. This requires an extra peice of information beyond username and password. The hassle you face with this confirmation requirement pales in comparison to a potential hacker’s plan.
  3. Secure password reset. This ensures you get emailed a confirmation code before a company you patronize will permit a change.
  4. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. There are many online password managers available to keep track of different log ins while making them more difficult for another to guess. You can keep hard copies too, if that’s your preference. Finding what works to make it easy for you to find unique access information for all accounts is what’s important.

Lazy is a bad way to be when it comes to protecting your online information. Anyone who has experienced a serious identity theft breach has learned the hard way how much time, money and angst goes into correcting such things. Often, it takes years to set things right. Make getting access to your information a little bit more of a hassle for you and you’ll make it a big headache for hackers. You’ll sleep easier with the knowledge you’re doing a better job protecting accounts from sadistic villains.