Tips to prevent your online accounts from being hacked

Earlier this week, Fox news twitter account was embarrassingly hacked. Hackers used the account to post disturbing and untrue messages stating that President Barack Obama had been shot and killed.

Sure online anything can be hacked, back in the day I was in the habit. All I would do was ask someone their mother’s maiden name, first school they went to and their pets first name. These were the 3 questions Yahoo asked you if you wanted to change your password. Not so technical but it worked.

Here are 5 tips on how to protect your online account:

1. Ditch the obvious passwords.
Do not use simple words, throw in a capital letter and a number or two. Bilingual? Use another language. The Fox News twitter hackers used what is called a dictionary hack, simply put an automated long list of words that are used to gain access to an account.

2. Limit access to your accounts.
Passwords to accounts should only be a need to have basis.

3. Log off from mobile devices.
As handy as they are, mobile devices can be easily stolen or lost. If it is too much of a hassle as I do, have a program or app installed that enables you to wipe your phone’s hard drive if you lose it.

4. Change passwords often.
We often don’t change passwords because we are used to them, and memorizing a new one takes some time, but it is worth the option, at least once every 3 months.

5. Keep an eye on your accounts.
Any comments you didn’t write, people receiving messages that you didn’t send, then you have been hacked. Every reputable site has a system for you to claim back your account.

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