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How secure are your online passwords?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Helen Hoart

The hacking of over 6 million passwords from LinkedIn should have all of us worried. I checked my LinkedIn password using a free tool from LastPass.  And yes it was hacked and published. Security experts are advising everyone to change their LinkedIn passwords and if they use the LinkedIn passwords for other sites to change the passwords on those sites as well.

Don’t make it easy for hackers to breach your personal security by using the same password and email address for your email, PayPal, online banking, eBay, and on and on.  

The hacking of LinkedIn and eHarmony and other sites points out how vulnerable we are.  A survey by SplashData of the most popular passwords of 2011 found out the number 1 password was … password.  For businesses a Trustwave survey found the favorite password was … Password1 (a small nod to enhanced security by having a capital letter and a number).  We use easy to remember passwords because we don't want the hassle of remembering and organizing multiple passwords.  But the hassle of being hacked is much worse.  So the time and effort of creating hard to hack passwords is worth it.  

Experts suggest using nonsensical combinations of numbers and letters (tobm890s). If that seems too difficult, consider checking out sites like LastPass and KeePass.  They have free tools for managing your passwords securely. 

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