Hackers Hate Hard Handles

The Digital Age has certainly made our lives more convenient and time efficient. We can pay bills, shop, bank, and socialize anytime, anywhere from our laptops, cell phones, and tablets. But, what risks are we taking by exposing ourselves to the online world? With cyber-crime victims suffering billions in losses each year, two simple steps could be all it takes to protect yourself.

Pick a strong password.  It takes expert hackers about 10-minutes to guess a password of 6 lowercase letters. Strong passwords contain a series of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers, which make a password nearly uncrackable. Need help generating secure passwords? Try safepasswd.com. Another option is to create phrases like “hackers hate hard handles” which statistically would take hackers hundreds of years to guess. Check out passphra.se for creative ideas. And, think about using multiple passwords: one for social media, a different one for banking, and yet another for online purchases. This way, if hackers crack one password, they won’t compromise every account you have.

Use Wi-Fi hot spots cautiously. Free public wireless Internet like you find at coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, and hotels is not encrypted, potentially exposing your bank accounts, email, credit card, and other personal information to phishing and smishing scams and hackers.  The Federal Trade Commission says that “new hacking tools- available for free online- make this easy, even for users with limited technical know-how.”  So turn off your wireless at these hotspots by right-clicking the taskbar’s wireless icon in Windows or clicking the Mac’s menu bar Wi-Fi icon. Don’t forget your smart phone either, which is especially susceptible to cyber scams. See the FTC’s website for more protection tips.

There is no perfect way to protect your personal information from hackers, but with a few easy changes, you can make yourself a less desirable target. Keep up to date on the latest E-Scams and Internet safety warnings at the FBI website.

All Rights Reserved - Copyright © 2004-2020 Hymson Goldstein Pantiliat & Lohr, PLLC
ARIZONA - 14500 N. Northsight Blvd. Suite 101 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Phone 480-991-9077 Fax 480-443-8854
NEW YORK - 525 Chestnut Street, Suite 203 Cedarhurst, NY 11516 Phone 516-596-8366 Fax 480-443-8854