I have one of the most esoteric and difficult passwords. That’s what I thought, until I used it in a new location two days ago and found my access turned off the next day. I wondered what went wrong initiating the new password on the account. When I called in to check, that server’s security people told me it was compromised within 24 hours and they had to close down my account. Somehow my caps, numbers and custom characters password must have been hacked and circulated.
This was a great reminder to us all to change those passwords often and even though it’s a pain, don’t save them in the browser, where they can be easily “mined” by crooks. Change them often and do regular sweeps of your computer for adware and spyware. Never send sensitive info like bank account or credit card numbers and most importantly social security numbers via text and email. Even when we are careful and vigilant, we will most likely get hit once in awhile, but if we are not careful, we could really suffer through loss of our identity or someone having enough data to come back over and over exploiting our accounts. Even the “butterfly-bee” Muhammad Ali, missed blocking a punch here and there and he definitely was “The Greatest”. If it can happen to Muhammad Ali in the ring, we shouldn’t feel too bad if once in awhile we get hit on the web.
Seriously though, we have to also watch sensitive information on the physical side too. It’s wise to shred your sensitive data and don’t assume that throwing things away is good enough. If it has your name and address, even if it’s junk mail, it’s a good idea to shred that material before discarding it. Incredibly I know a millionaire who never shreds a thing. When I mentioned he should shred everything with sensitive financial data, his response was “no one wants my old bank and credit card statements”. Somehow that sounds a little too optimistic to me! Once I was hacked by an individual in Japan. The bank let that charge from Japan go through, but if I go to Wisconsin, they block my debit card at the gas station. It shows we definitely have to rely on yourselves and not the bank or credit card company to watch our money and our online access.