Protecting your password: a necessary balancing act -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protecting your password: a necessary balancing act

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Protecting your passwords on line is becoming more difficult, but making them more complicated can make them harder to remember. Experts say it's a necessary balancing act.

Diversification and staying alert are the keys to keeping your personal information safe from crooks.

Alison Harrell could have been a victim when a call came in on a debt she didn't owe.

"This debt collector that called me had my social security number, my birth date, my address," said Harrell.

It doesn't take thieves much to get your personal information, and the first step to stopping it is guarding your passwords.

Just last week 2 million passwords were stolen from sites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo.

If you have been hacked or have a virus Timothy Conlon From The Computer Nerd says before taking your computer in to his shop for repair change your passwords.

"Complicated passwords is number one. Have different passwords for every site you log on," said Conlon.

If you use the same passwords for all of your accounts you could be in danger of hackers liquidating your finances.

"All the hacker has to do at that point is enter that same information for a different account and you're done for," said Conlon.

Experts say don't use common words in your passwords.  Capital letters, numbers and punctuation signs are recommended.

"I usually make sure it's not my name or social security number, my birth date something easy somebody could guess," said Harrell.

If you are on Facebook or use other social media sites your personal information such as your dog's name and kids birthdays are easy to access.

Security experts say think before you click, especially if an email is from someone you recognize but the topic seems off, or a Google search brings you to a site that doesn't seem right.

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