Winter 2020 Newsletter

ALL WEST COMMUNICATIONS • 866.ALL.WEST (255.9378) • Don’t Make These Common Password Mistakes When was the last time you updated your passwords? Do you use the same password for everything? A great New Year’s resolution would be to ensure your passwords are strong and secure. To do that, avoid these mistakes: • Your password can be found in the dictionary. A software program can go through the entire dictionary very quickly, so this type of password is the easiest to crack. If you must use this strategy, at least do things like change the Ss to 5s, randomly capitalize letters or string together several words. For example, create a password like “caRtRuckhou5e.” • Your password contains personal information. Content such as your birthdate, name and address are easy to guess, even if you tack extra numbers or other characters onto them. Other easy-to-guess information includes your spouse’s name or birthdate, your anniversary, your kids’ names and your pets’ names. While you’re at it, remember to not use this information in security questions either. Instead, make something up for your mother’s maiden name, the elementary school you attended and so on. • Your password is all lowercase letters. Passwords that are varied—with both lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters—are much harder to guess. While you’re creating more complex passwords, remember to not just tack on the uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters at the end; instead, spread them throughout the password. Remember, the more you can do to increase the com- plexity of the password, the better. • You always use the same password. If you do this, you make it easy for a hacker who’s accessed one of your accounts to access more of them. Yes, it’s harder to remem- ber more passwords, but worth the hassle for the added security. Plus, you can always use a service like Dashlane ( ), 1Password ( ), or LastPass ( ) to remember your passwords for you. While it takes a little extra time and effort to create and maintain strong passwords, it’s well worth it. More Advice on Passwords Create an All West account pass- word. We encourage you to create an account password with us— in addition to having two to three security questions—to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your All West account and protect your personal information. A password pro- vides another level of defense against someone who may know the answers to your security questions and would be able to change or remove services without your consent. Stop by our office or call 866.255.9378 and a member of our team will help you set up an account password. Then keep your password secure and only share it with those you trust. Say “Never” when your browser asks if you want to save the pass- word you’ve just created for a site. Why? Because choosing “Save” creates one of the easiest ways for passwords to potentially be hacked. Your internet browsers should be set to clear all cookies and passwords on exiting, so these passwords are not kept longer than the day you are using them. Do you want Google Chrome to save your password for this site? Username Password •••••••••••••• username123 SAVE NEVER