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Tips to avoid falling victim to hacking scams

6:32 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Even though big companies like Apple, Burger King, NBC and Facebook have all been recent victims of hacking, it doesn't mean that you have to be.

Alex Holden of Cyopsis LLC  says there are a few easy things you can do to lessen your chances of being hit. 

Foremost, he said, you should not accept friend requests from people you don't know. In addition, make sure that you create strong passwords for all of your online profiles - and most importantly, that you don't duplicate them between accounts.

Lastly, he said to make sure, in addition to buying antivirus programs, to continuously keep them updated.      

Here are some tips from Google to creating a strong and secure password:

Tips for creating a secure password:

  • Include punctuation marks and/or numbers.
  • Mix capital and lowercase letters.
  • Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'.
  • Create a unique acronym.
  • Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv 2 Laf' for 'Love to Laugh'.

Things to avoid:

  • Don't reuse passwords for multiple important accounts, such as Gmail andonline banking.
  • Don't use a password that is listed as an example of how to pick a good password.
  • Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.)
  • Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Don't use keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
  • Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters.
  • Don't use repeating characters (aa11).

Tips for keeping your password secure:

  • Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, parrots, etc.).
  • Never write your password down.
  • Never send your password by email.
  • Periodically test your current password and change it to a new one.
Allison Sylte contributed to this report. 

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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