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Experts say you can trade your complex password for one that looks like this

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 15:42:03-04

It's one of the Information Age's greatest fears: Getting hacked. Whether it's a social media account, an email address or your RING doorbell (yes, that happens now!), IT expert Sarah Kimmel with Family Tech says it's much easier to put in some effort up front to avoid cleaning up a hacker's big mess. Here are her three top tips for keeping accounts safe:

1. Enable 2 Factor Authentication
"On any accounts that will allow it, you must enable 2-Factor Authentication so that when you sign in, you get an authorization code by email or on your phone that you have to input before you can go further. That helps ensure you are actually signing in."

2. Phishing Scams
"Be aware of phishing scams (especially when social engineering is in play). These are email or text messages that try to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers and so on. My advice: Never give any personal information out to anyone. When you are asked for that, a WARNING LIGHT should go off in your mind. Delete or do not answer. Do not even click on a link."

3. Passwords
Use different passwords for every account, because if one gets hacked, you won't have to change ALL of them. Use a password manager to keep track or use "haystacking" when creating passwords. Haystacking is 'length is strength.' Another tip is to use LONG passwords. Complexity is no longer important, but length is strength."

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