Hi, I'm Vernesa Harper with Schwab Advisor Services and I'm not your mom, but I want to give you some advice that your mom might give you if she knew how many fraud threats were out there and that advice is change your passwords.
Okay, so what does a strong password look like? In general, your passwords should be difficult to guess and unique to each site you use.
All passwords should be at least 12 characters. Don't include personal information, such as your pet's name, address, or date of birth. Avoid simple dictionary words.
One good approach is to use a long phrase as your password because those are harder to guess.
In addition, include a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. There are other ways to make your account more secure. For instance, use multi-factor authentication whenever it's available.
Experts say multi-factor authentication can make you 99% less likely to be hacked.
A reputable password manager can help you create strong and unique passwords while only needing to remember the one you used to access the manager itself.
Don't share your password with anyone or leave the passwords written in a place where they can be discovered.
Don't stay logged into websites on devices that other people use. Review your account on a daily basis and be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
Remember, the strong passwords you use for all your important accounts online may be your best or only line of defense against cyber criminals.
For more information on staying safe online, visit schwabsafe.com.