It seems that anywhere and everywhere, companies require personal identification codes in order to maintain access. Everything from your personal ATM pin to your email accounts require you to create, maintain and keep a code in order to ensure access. When creating passwords, you can help protect your identity and your personal information by avoiding the following:
Birthdays as passwords: Birthday passwords are all too common, and if you are using one, all a thief needs is one glimpse at your driver’s license to have access to everything you own. Avoid using your anniversary as well.
Simple formations such as 1234 or 1111: A study showed that these two combinations were the most popular iPhone access codes. Stay away from them if you don’t want a stranger to have access to your information.
Using “password” as a password: It is quick and easy to remember, and so you’ve been using it as the access code to your computer since you first got one back in the 1980s. The problem is, so have millions of other people. Avoid it if you don’t want to be hacked.
Your street number: Using this as your password is as simple to crack as showing the thief a piece of paper with your letterhead.
Phone number: Anyone can easily figure out your code if they also have access to your phone number (which may even be posted on the Internet).
So, what should you use?
If you’re serious about the safety of your personal identity (and we hope you are!), then there are a few tried and true tips to help you create codes that James Bond himself couldn’t crack.
Childhood phone number: It’s easy for you to remember but hard for anyone else to guess.
Favorite holiday: It’s tough enough for a stranger to guess your favorite holiday, and it’s even tougher for that person to imagine you’d use it as a password.
Childhood street address: Once again, this is something that is easy for you to remember, and nearly impossible for a stranger to guess.
Also, if you keep your passwords on file in an electronic document such as an Excel spreadsheet, remember to secure those with a personal identifier. There are also programs designed for small businesses to help store all passwords. The cost for such software or apps typically ranges from $30-$40.
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555