I see so many instances where peoples’ accounts are hacked, or phished, and I just wanted to put out a few pointers that I give to the users on my own network. PLEASE read this all and FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS!!! It will make it WAY HARDER for hackers/phishers to get into your account!!! Also, remember- these are guidelines for EVERY site/account you use!
Your password should not be a name of a person, place or thing (I.E., try not to put your child’s name in there, or your pets name). Also, your password should not contain your e-mail name or any part of your full name.
Remember that passwords are CASE SeNsITiVe on most sites, so pay attention to your ‘CAPS LOCK’ and ‘SHIFT’ keys.
As a suggestion, try using a small phrase as your password, with punctuation in place –
- Examples –
- Wow, this is gr8!
- hi, howru2day?
- Get that cat OUT of my hat!
These are called passphrases, and are (currently) far more secure than pass words. Also, it is easier to remember a passprase than it is to remember a random password of equal length. The numbers being replaced for letters where they match phonetically also confuses some password cracking software (ex.: gr8 replacing great). The longer your pass word/phrase, the longer it takes to break it, and the more likely it is that the hacker will just move on to the next account!
Now that we’ve covered picking a password/phrase, let’s move on to ‘phishing’. Many of you (maybe all?) have been ‘phished’ at one point or another. It happened to me once, so I know how easy it is to fall into it.
‘Phishing’ is usually done in one of two ways-
- An e-mail that looks official and asks you to provide your username and/or password (or Social Security number, bank account info, whatever). These are NEVER (repeat- NEVER!) legitimate! Mark them as spam and move on. Save yourself the heartache, please!
- A logon screen. Looks just like the one for the site you are on, right? But you’re already logged on. Now, look up at the address… not the one for that site, is it? Hit the ‘Back’ button a couple of times and don’t go back to the profile/message/bulletin that took you to the fake logon. Report it to the site administrators if possible.
Now, if you follow these simple rules on EVERY site and EVERY computer/network you get on, you will be FAR less likely to get your account hacked by someone. Of course, a truly determined hacker can bypass these precautions, but it will at least make them work for it.
If you do get hacked, they can send messages as you, they can delete your e-mails, change your profile, even delete your account or friends list. So please, please follow this advice and share a link to it with others!