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 Weird

    Texas police arrest man in ‘Cookie Monster’ robberies


    Houston-area police have arrested a man dubbed the "Cookie Monster" robber who is suspected in holdups at more than 30 fast-food restaurants, often demanding that a cookie be handed over along with the cash.

    in Music

    Foo Fighters dedicate free album to Paris victims


    The band has been teasing a new release with a countdown on their official website over the last few weeks, and they have finally unveiled a collection of five songs, titled "Saint Cecilia."

    in Viral Videos

    Kid battles through hiccups to rock national anthem


    Young Ethan battled through the hiccups to perform perhaps the greatest rendition of the Australian national anthem ever.

    in Music

    Five Finger Death Punch cancel concert over terror threat


    The rockers canceled their concert in Italy following reports the gig was a potential target for a terror attack.