By Dana Alley, Personal Account Manager
Last week, I got a scary email from Google with the subject line “Suspicious Sign in Prevented.” A jolt of terror shot up my spine! I quickly checked the email (and made sure it was legitimately from Google), and learned that someone in Vigo, Spain had tried to log into my account several times. Google actually locked my account and required me to change my password before I could log in. They also ran me through a small questionnaire to make sure it was actually me. Yes, rather scary indeed!
This led me on a mission to immediately change and update my passwords all across my social media regime. Google services are excellent and extremely helpful to my daily life, so my account is synced up with many other websites, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, ALL the apps on my phone, and even more secure sites like my cable company, insurance, and banking info! GOLLY! If my account were compromised, some serious damage could be done…
Don’t let yourself, or your law firm, become a victim of internet identity theft. Here are a few ways you can prevent unauthorized logins on your online and social media accounts.
- Create unique passwords that are impossible to guess. If you want to use the family dog’s name, that fine, but don’t use Sammy. Instead, create something like $AMmyy67.
- Don’t use the same password over Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. Use different passwords, or at least use some variations. $ammyy0067, $SAmmy_67, etc.
- Update your passwords every 6-12 months.
- It might be hard to remember your passwords, but
you can actually create a password protected document to save some of this
information. If you can go from your memory, that’s the best, as a document
like this does severely decrease your security. If you do save all your
passwords in a password protected document, make sure you…
- Save it to a secret folder on your computer (NOT on the cloud).
- Name the folder something inconspicuous – ex: Business Format Ideas, or 2012 Vacation
- Name the actual file something inconspicuous as well – ex: Grocery List, Animal Vet Record.
Certain spyware on your computer can actually scan for words like account, password, log in, etc. – so that’s why it’s important to use unrelated terms.
As active as we all are on social media, email, and other web based accounts – you can never be too careful with your online identity. Keep it safe!