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Neighborhood Credit Union

Protect Your Password like a Jedi

You need to protect your passwords all the time so your personal online information is secure and stays out of the hands of someone other than yours. The last thing you want is the Empire getting a hold of your social security number.

World Password Day was created to promote smart password practices because we use them every day. Between emails, social media, banking accounts, online shopping, and many others, the average person has more than 15 different online accounts that require passwords. According to a 2016 poll by Intel Security, 37 percent of people forget a password once a week.

As you’ve probably seen, this year World Password Day falls on May 4th, which is better known as Star Wars Day. Here are some ways you can avoid the “dark side” and keep your password game at its best.

Use authentication features

If you have to unlock your phone by putting in a passcode then you’ve taken the first step to keeping your information secure. However, this is only one barrier for hackers to get through. You need to have some kind of extra security other than a 4-digit code.

Remember in The Force Awakens where Rey begins having visions that draw her to the basement where she finds Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber? You see her touch it and have even more visions seeming like she “unlocked” Luke’s lightsaber just by touch. In a world that doesn’t have The Force, having a device unlocking by touch is called biometrics.

The use of biometrics to keep online accounts secure is on the rise. We have biometric security on our MyNCU Mobile app, like Touch ID where signing in is as easy as scanning your fingerprint. We also have Eyeprint ID, particularly useful for phones without Touch ID functionality, where you can log in by scanning your eyes. Taking advantage of authentication features can help keep your information safe without having to remember a long list of passwords.

Change your password periodically

There are people who have had the same password for their social media accounts and email for years. That’s not the best security move but many of us do it because it’s easy to remember. If you want to be on the safe side, try changing your password at least once every 2-3 months.

Now we all do this, but it’s not secure to use the same password on multiple platforms. This is called “credential stuffing.” According to USA Today, 50 percent of people use the same password on different platforms. So when hackers have your email they can try to see if the password works on any other site.

Once hackers gain access to other accounts, they are able to assemble “profiles” including as much information as the hacking group has about a person, assembled from multiple sources over time.

Could that be how Jyn Erso got the Death Star Schematics in Rogue One? It’s doubtful that the Empire was credential stuffing, but hackers can still get your information that way.

Check your privacy settings

You might have a strong password, but what do your privacy settings say?

Whether this be on your social media accounts or email, it’s not a bad idea to go take a look at how your privacy settings are defaulted. On your social media accounts, you can manage your privacy settings so you can see what content is public and what non friends can see. You can also make your email more secure by making sure your emails are not getting forwarded or shared unless you want them to be.

You can also check out these additional password tips so you can have the peace of mind that Kylo Ren can’t hack your Facebook.

“May the Fourth be with you,” young password master!