Computer Security

Exercise more. Floss daily. Remember anniversary this year. Something’s missing… computer security! Your list of resolutions isn’t complete until you add “update my security software” and “protect my passwords” to the mix. Don’t worry, it’s not time consuming. Protecting yourself from scammers, hackers, and identity thieves is definitely something you’ll want to do this year.
So, here’s what you can do. Take a few minutes to check that your security software is up-to-date. The bad guys are constantly finding new ways to attack your computer — you don’t want them to get to yours. If you don’t have security software, you can find it for free from well-known companies. And if you set your software, internet browser, and operating system to update automatically, you can spend your extra time fulfilling some of your other resolutions.
Speaking of other resolutions… are you still using the same password from 1999? It's time for a change. Follow these tips when creating your new passwords:
  • Don’t use your name or birthdate — try to be unpredictable
  • Make your password at least 10 to 12 characters long, and use a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Keep your passwords in a secure place, and don’t share them with anyone — especially over the phone, in texts, or by email
See? That wasn’t so bad. Do these simple things, and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking something off your list of resolutions!

Aditi Jhaveri
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC


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