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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Good Ways to Protect Your Accounts

For the sake of this blog post, I will only cover Google accounts for the most part. But this information can cover more than one area.

First, take advantage of all of the security that your provider provides to you. Google and Yahoo allow users that use their e-mail to set up secure ways to sign into their accounts. One of these very secure ways involves using your phone in connection with signing into your account. It makes your account secure by forcing you to send a code to your phone, then use that code to sign into your account every time that you log in on an unknown computer or device. Believe me, it's not easy for novice users. I changed my password and it locked me out of my phone for a good 15 minutes. It is long and tedious and can be bad for you in the future as it has for me. I was late for a class one day and needed to print out a paper I sent to my e-mail and it took me a while because the phone wasn't receiving the code as I was in our school's basement away from a cell site. So be careful about setting up security and make sure that you will always have enough time to access the account if necessary.

Your providers for your various accounts setup fairly decent forms of security measures that you can use with many of those being very hard for hackers to hack into...but that doesn't make your account unhackable.

Which leads me to my next point which is very important...use common sense and good judgement. That's what ultimately protects accounts from theft and fraud. By you not leaving your account's password lying around, account's password something obvious like a birthday, or anything like that, you have made your account very safe from the start. Still, there is no such thing as anything unhackable, by making passwords and other forms of security, you only reduce the risk.

Change your passwords often. In doing so, you make it hard for you to accidentally leave your password lying around or for someone to look over your shoulder then three months later log in to your account. I'd say that you should change your passwords every month.

Make the password difficult to remember. Refrain from choosing your birth-date or those of close family. These are the most typically used password pieces which makes it easy for hackers to search for first. Use birth-dates of like a family pet or a distant cousin or date of graduation...something that isn't related to you very recently or directly.

Recycle passwords but do not recycle account names. If you have more than one e-mail client like Yahoo and Gmail then do not use the same password for both of those accounts. Avoid connecting accounts to one another too. And avoid naming accounts the same name such as and Avoid connecting too many accounts with other accounts. Such as connecting both the Gmail and the Yahoo accounts to your same Facebook account.

Beware of the computers and devices that you sign in on. Each time you sign on, you are sending an IP address that links that computer, router, e-mail, Facebook, browsing history, and more all together making it easy for hackers to move from one account to the next, figuring out more and more about you.

Make multiple nicknames for online use. It's harder for people to track you if you use multiple identities online.

When creating passwords, use capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and any other characters allowable. In doing so, it reduces the risk of having your account hacked into. Most software that is used to hack runs multiple possible passwords until finally finding the correct password that works with the account. It works like the following by searching for a, then b, then c...then aa, then ab, then ac...and so on and so forth which says that it searches for letters first then numbers or other way around. Using numbers, letters, and other characters makes a piece of software take longer to crack. Most passwords are case-sensitive, meaning that it won't allow you to access an account regardless if you use the upper or lower case of a certain letters. This allows you more time, more time that will force a program to take to find the password. Also make sure to not use the same letter repeatedly after each other as programs can find that fairly fast.

Be smart and safe when accessing accounts. When logging into your bank account online, clear cache, browsing history, cookies, and anything else you can. Or, use a different web browser. Instead of using Internet Explorer, use Google Chrome for your banking needs. And when in Google Chrome, do your banking in something similar to private browsing or incognito mode. These modes do not save browsing history, cache, cookies, and much more which should make your connection a bit more safer. Using something like a proxy server is technically safer since it hides your IP address but many individuals make proxies and have the ability to view your browsing history which would allow them to log your information and log into your accounts as you. So be careful if you decide to use something like a proxy server.

When signing into accounts, try to sign in using https URLs. By looking in that top address bar of your browser where the "" is, check before the "www." or whatever is there for an "https". Also check to see if the encryption is verified. This can be done in some browsers by clicking near here and information should be provided about the website's URL's validity.

Above all, use common sense and good judgement. Things change over time and some of my advice above may not be valid. I am not a professional of computer hacking, these are just pieces of information that I've found over my time online and none of the information given here guarantees that you will be safe from fraud and theft.

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