Earlier this year I did a presentation at our Campbell AARP chapter. The presentation was fun for everyone and there was useful knowledge shared. Many people were not in the room that could use the information. I have written about protecting your online information, including passwords. In my preparation for presenting at AARP I attended several cyber security presentations. I read several articles and reflected on my own personal plan for protecting my accounts. At the various training sessions I attended there was a common theme, if your identity has not been stolen, just wait, it will happen.
Today, Monday, October 31, 2016 my Netflix account was hijacked! Within 30 minutes I had it back. There was a huge lesson for me, which I will share with you. For some reason Netflix on an Amazon Fire TV stick keeps resetting or losing my password. In my being frustrated with this I set a very simple password. In hindsight this was a super bad idea. I strongly recommend that you use cypher for all passwords. What this means is to replace letters with non-letter characters. For example an ‘a’ becomes ‘^’ and ‘v’ can become ‘\’ & ‘/’. The key is NOT to have a unique password for every website. I use three basic password patterns:
Banking – anything that takes a credit card
Email – I have a few of these
Non-credit card holding sites
Here is a sample for non-credit card holding sites: I’ll pick a word, say “keyhole”. For starters, “keyhole” is too short. Most sites require 6-8 characters. Let’s see what we can do here. For a cypher I would do something like, “!k3yH0l3flix” Where ‘e’ became ‘3’ and ‘o’ became ‘0’ (zero). My website sample passwords:
!k3yH0l3flix – for Netflix.com
!k3yH0l3aarp – for my AARP login
!k3yH0l3text – for textmessaging.com
Next month I will cover what happens to a loved ones accounts when they die. Look at http:// CampbellAARP.org for more useful posts and resources.