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 Entertainment

    MOVIES: 31 days of Halloween

    Shelley Duvall hides from Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining.'

    Get into the Halloween spirit by watching one of these scary movies.

    in Music

    How does it feel … to own 20 versions of Dylan’s ‘Rolling Stone?’


    This $599, 18-CD release gives new meaning to "box set."

    in Music

    Will Smith planning to tour with DJ Jazzy Jeff


    The "Independence Day" star is reuniting with his longtime friend for a world tour as part of his musical comeback.

    in Music

    Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd loses latest legal battle


    The rocker has lost his appeal against his eight-month home confinement sentence.