How to Protect Your Saved Passwords

How to Protect Your Saved Passwords

These days, online transactions are the norm. And, if you’re like most internet users, digital privacy is a top priority. Both the companies that offer online services and the members that use them must choose to be proactive in protecting their data and saved passwords.

Achieva Credit Union has partnered with MS-ISAC to provide a cyber spring cleaning plan. There’s no better time to review your account settings to prevent hacks. Learn how to protect your saved passwords using the tips below. The suggestions are easy to follow and something you can set up immediately. Continue reading to learn more.

The challenges of digital privacy

Some speculate that digital privacy is difficult to maintain because of the number of online connections people have. Businesses that offer online payments also see the downside of the convenience because they then become responsible for storing the details of millions of payment transactions. Cyber security is not something to take lightly. It requires forward-thinking and active monitoring to patrol. 

In a statement released to Forbes, Stephan Gonzalez, Vice President of Technology Risk at Achieva Credit Union, says, “Hackers that target banks are usually after personal data that can be used to impersonate someone and gain access to things like bank accounts.” Conducting regular reviews of your data management practices will keep your account from becoming compromised.

1. Turn on multi-factor authentication

Also known as MFA, multi-factor authentication uses multiple sources to prove a user is authorized to log into an account. There are several ways to use MFA, such as SMS, email, or phone. It’s best to turn on this feature whenever available and never share the verification codes with others. (Even if they say they are employees of the company providing the account you are logging into.)

2. Take a new approach with your passwords

We’ve probably all heard that “password” is not a good password. But, what type of password creation should we employ? Consider making passphrases instead. They are more effective than large strings of random numbers and letters because of their memorability and are not as easy to crack. 

An example of a passphrase would be “Read More Blogs Today 13!” or “WatchYour_FavoriteShow22@”. When thinking of what passphrase would work best for you, avoid the inclusion of your birthdate, name, or other personalizing data. 

3. Wipe your devices before donating/discarding them

Even if you delete all the sensitive files from your view, it does not mean that the data is gone for good. Data-recovery software can easily find the files on the hard drive. To make the information less retrievable, you will need to wipe your machine a few times. 

4. Don’t fall for phishing scams

Most email scams work because of a targeted act called phishing. Defrauders access the data records of their victims by gathering portions of information. They use various tricks to collect sensitive items such as saved passwords or email addresses. Prevent email phishing scams by learning how they work and assertively refuse to share your data.

5. Reduce your attack surface

Closing inactive accounts will keep you from being unnecessarily exposed to hacks. Go through your records, your phone apps, and your junk mail. If you haven’t used an account in over six months, log in one final time and delete your stored payment information. Then, end the other party’s connection to your other data by closing your account.

6. Be wary of saved passwords managers

Not all password managers are the same. Additionally, there is no reason to have multiple managers. (Ahem, browser-based managers, phone managers, and third-party entities.) While they may save time in some instances, having your password stored all over the place leaves you more vulnerable to hacks. Take the time to analyze your online routines and research before deciding.

Protect the privacy of your passwords and other data

There may be a lot of to-dos on your cyber spring cleaning plan, but the effort is worth it. If you suspect fraudulent activity with your Achieva Credit Union account, report it at (800) 593-2274. 

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