Smart City Telecom Blog

Simple Ways To Protect Your Data

By Debbie Burke
Screen with fingerprint

Since 2020, data breaches have become more rampant. Personal information from 10.6 million MGM Resorts guests and over 533 million Facebook users was found on hacking forums. Over 280 million Microsoft customer support records were left unprotected. More than 500,000 Zoom teleconferencing account credentials were found for sale on the dark web.

Using the same or weak passwords everywhere makes it easier for your accounts to be compromised. Creating secure, unique passwords is critical in reducing the risk of data breaches and password leaks. There’s no guarantee that these techniques will prevent an attacker from learning your password, but they will make it more difficult.

  1. Create longer passwords. Try a minimum of 10 characters. Longer passwords or passphrases are more difficult to crack.
  2. Create complex passwords. Consider using a mix of capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols in your password. If you must write it down, hide it where it can’t be found.
  3. Don’t use personal information. Never use your name, or that of family members or pets, or numbers like your address, phone number, or birthday in your password. These are publicly available and easily accessible by hackers.
  4. Use different passwords on different accounts. If any of your sites are hacked, criminals will try using them elsewhere. Vary them by adding unique letters, numbers, or symbols for each account.
  5. Consider using a password manager program. These allow you to create, store and reset strong passwords for each of your sites. Many browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Edge, have free built-in password managers.
  6. Use Multi-Factor Authentication where possible. Many services offer multi-factor authentication or two-factor authentication to provide extra protection for your accounts. Typically, a code is texted to your registered mobile device to type in to verify that it’s you. We recommend using both multi-factor authentication and a strong password whenever possible.
  7. Don’t fall for phishing attacks. Be very careful before clicking on a link, even if it appears to be from a legitimate site, asking you to log in, change your password, or provide any other personal information. When in doubt, manually type the site’s URL in your browser window.


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