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 Music

    Ty Herndon: ‘Out’ and proud


    Country music star Ty Herndon has revealed he's gay in a new interview.

    in Viral Videos

    Is it ‘The Hungry Names’ or ‘The Hunger Games?’


    "The Tonight Show" hits the streets to talk with people about one of the year's most anticipated movies.

    in Music

    Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett teaming up for tour


    The country icons are teaming up for a special four-city U.S. tour in January.

    in Entertainment

    Award-winning director Mike Nichols dead at 83


    The Oscar-winning director of "The Graduate" and "Carnal Knowledge," has died.

    in Black Friday, Entertainment

    PHOTOS: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade preps


    Volunteers and Macy's employees are putting the finishing touches on the 88th annual parade.