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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection | article

First step in solid identity theft prevention? Secure passwords

You may not think that making accounts like Facebook and Twitter profiles impenetrable from intruders is an effective mode of identity theft prevention, but the truth is that if you are looking to avoid having to report credit fraud, this is often your first line of defense. Without a secure password, intruders can not only post embarrassing messages on your friends walls, but potentially gain access to personal identification information and even bank and credit accounts, leaving you in financial turmoil.

Here are a few tips and tricks to creating a good password and keeping it safe to help curb the chances that identity theft doesn’t haunt you in the future:

  • Any password that is less than eight characters is simply inadequate, and if you stick with all letters in only one case, your password is an easy read. Mix it up between lowercase and uppercase letters and incorporate symbols throughout.
  • Don’t use any names, dates or phrases that are easily identifiable as important to you, as these will likely be the first guesses of anyone with a basic knowledge of your personality who is looking to compromise your identity.
  • Be sure to change up passwords for different accounts so that if one of your codes is unlocked, it won’t give them free reign to access all of your other password-protected accounts.
  • Don’t save your password on your computer. If this device was to be hacked, a thief could access it and go rummaging through all of your personal protection information.
  • For the best identity theft prevention, make sure that you change your passwords often, at least once every few months.

It’s no fun having to report credit fraud, so be sure that you take at least this first step in protecting your identity.