If you have a common password that protects your personal health record (PHR), then you could be exposing yourself to potential hackers. Do you consider your health record more important than your banking accounts?
Many of us have a variety of online accounts. Do you use the same password on several accounts? You're putting yourself at grave risk if you do that. I admit that there was a time when I used a few passwords among different accounts. However, I now have unique passwords for every account and I use a systematic approach so that I can easily remember every one.
Allow me to share a few Internet security tips:
- Never use the same password on multiple accounts. This may lead to someone hacking your Facebook account and then eventually getting access into other things (like your bank account, PayPal, credit card accounts, etc.)
- Never use a dictionary word as your password. Using "wojljsdflkwe" is better than that any word that would appear in a dictionary.
- Never use numbers that reflect your personal profile. Don't use numbers that may reflect your birthday, your address, your phone #, etc.
Suppose you really like the word "Amazon" as your password. It's 6 characters, so it works as a password on many websites. Let's see how we can use this word to create unique passwords for 3 different websites. We'll use the unique letter(s), common number(s), common word technique. This is a very basic technique that works quite well if you're a newbie at this.
- The unique letter(s) is based on the name of the website. Choose the 3rd and last letters of the website title as your unique letters and this becomes the first few letters of your password.
- Choose a common number. Let's choose 16 (legal driving age). This is the second component of your password.
- Choose a common word. Let's choose "zamazon" (I love to shop on Amazon, but we don't want to use a word that can be found in the dictionary, so we'll add a "z" to amazon). This becomes the end of your password.
- Paypal: the password would be "yl16zamazon" (y = 3rd letter; l = last letter)
- Chase: the password would be "ae16zamazon" (a = 3rd letter; e = last letter)
- Google: the password would be "oe16zamazon" (o = 3rd letter; e = last letter)