Are You Sure That You Are Protecting Your Content From Hackers?
My husband Deric is a music producer and executive, and like most people in the music industry, is deep into social media marketing. A few years ago it was all about MySpace and nowadays mostly Facebook and Twitter. He has a lot more fans and followers than I do, and he tweets and posts updates to his tribe everyday, and that’s really understating things:)
In the time that he has been on social media though, his Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail accounts have all been hacked into several times. In fact, he was just hacked last week. Typically the hacker starts posting weird or obscene messages which look like they are coming from him, but the people in his community are so use to it that they typically just send him a message “Hey D, your account has been hacked.”
Yet that’s not what typically happens in our world. Honestly, a lot of people would probably think I was insane if a hacker got a hold of my account and started posting weird messages. I can see the defriending happening as we speak! What about you?
Not to mention the headache it is if someone gets a hold of your Gmail account. You can basically forget about it if this happens. If Google doesn’t catch the hacker before you do – you can try changing your password, which is what my husband did. But if Google catches them first, they shut your account down and it takes heaven and earth to get it back. You’re better off creating a new account – because you will never see all those saved emails from the old account again.
When I asked my husband what his passwords were for these accounts I finally figured it out — why he kept getting hacked…
He had a group of about 3 passwords which he rotated regularly on many sites.
Solution: You should create a unique password for each unique account you own. This way if hackers figure out one, they won’t necessarily be able to easily figure out the rest of your passwords.
He created passwords that were easy to guess if you knew a bit about him.
Solution: Don’t create passwords that are easy to guess. This is what happened to several celebrities in the media recently. If everyone knows that you own a dog named Sadie, then a hacker is going to try using this password and variations of it to get into your accounts.
Not only were his passwords easy to guess but they were very short, simple words.
Solution: You really need to create passwords that are a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
He kept his passwords written down in an obvious place.
Solution: Keep your passwords in a discreet and VERY safe place.
He has had the same passwords for the last 5 years.
Solution: Change your passwords frequently. Sites like my shopping cart system make me change my password or I can’t login to my backend.
I know that many of us make these typical password mistakes because we can’t memorize a unique password for EVERY account we own online. So here are your options:
1. Okay, so I realize that practically any site you visit wants to make you a member and get your information but you can decide to make very unique passwords for select sites — ones that really matter such as your bank account, credit cards, email, social media, wordpress blog. OR…
2. I use password software which generates very strong, unique passwords for all of my sites and then remembers them every time I go to login. It also works on my iPad and my iPhone which I really like as well.
Bonus Tip – If you use freelancers that have access to your site or social media passwords, make sure to change passwords when you are finished doing business together.