Staying safe online

Staying safe online

STAYING SAFE ONLINE: Experts say simple tips can help you avoid being the victim of online crimes like identity theft. Photo:

NEW YORK (AP) — With the recent news that a Russian hacker ring has amassed some 1.2 billion username and password combinations, it’s a good time to review ways to protect yourself online.

The hacking misdeeds were described in a New York Times story based on the findings of Hold Security, a Milwaukee firm that has a history of uncovering online security breaches.

One of the best things you can do is to make sure your new passwords are strong. Here are seven ways to fortify them:

  • Make your password long.
  • Use combinations of letters and numbers, upper and lower case and symbols such as the exclamation mark.
  • Avoid words that are in dictionaries, even if you add numbers and symbols.
  • Substitute characters. For instance, use the number zero instead of the letter O, or replace the S with a dollar sign.
  • Avoid easy-to-guess words, even if they aren’t in the dictionary.
  • Never reuse passwords on other accounts.
  • Some services such as Gmail even give you the option of using two passwords when you use a particular computer or device for the first time. If you have that feature turned on, the service will send a text message with a six-digit code to your phone when you try to use Gmail from an unrecognized device.
  • Recent Headlines

    in Viral Videos

    WATCH: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Halloween house


    The decorations and synchronized light display on this house is so impressive, we won't even ask for candy.

    in Music

    Alice Cooper wants to ‘die on stage’


    The rocker says he's not worried about elaborate stunts on stage because that's the way he would want to go out.

    in Entertainment

    Bryan Cranston laughs off ‘Breaking Bad’ toy controversy


    A Florida mom wants action figures from the popular series banned from Toys 'R' Us stores.

    in Viral Videos

    Brad Pitt in ‘Furby’


    What if the WWII tank movie was remade with the furry toys?

    in Entertainment

    Jimmy Fallon penning picture book


    Fallon's daughter Winnie Rose has inspired the picture book, which will hit store shelves this summer.