Do Your Passwords Really Keep You Secure?

Maintaining a password as an Appalachian State student can be hard. There are so many rules. You can never use the same password twice, even if it was from your freshman year! It has to be a certain number of characters and all that jazz. Most the time, we try to keep it simple, meaning, we have the same password for our e-mail account, for our banking account, even for our online shopping bag with J-Crew. Think about it, you use the same password for almost every account.

One thing to remember when you are setting your password is that 90% of passwords are hackable. Therefore, we should think of the damages that could be done to your e-mail account and your bank account when setting up a password.

As a college student, this can be especially hard. Think about how many times a day you log into your e-mail account, ASULearn, or your bank account. The last thing you want is to have to remember a stream of random letters and numbers.

In our minds, simple is better. However, in a hacker’s mind, simple is easy. Don’t make it simple for someone to hack into your account. Chose a password with a totally random word in it. Add an extended amount of pointless numbers. Avoid number patterns such as your birthday or last four digits of your social security number.

What are the risks?

You may think, who would want to hack into my ASULearn account? However, think of everything that your school password controls. Your e-mail, your classes, your tuition fees, basically your entire life here at Appalachian.

So, when that 90-day e-mail pops-up that your password is about to expire, don’t just continue to change it to the next family members name, or adding an extra number at the end. Think of what can happen if your accounts are hacked into.

This does not only apply for those college-related accounts. What if someone hacked into your Pay-pal account on Amazon and ran up your bill? For all accounts you may have a subscription to, think about the risks for each account that can happen if your account gets hacked. Some are easier to bounce back from than others, but nonetheless, take all precautionary measures.

What to do if your account is hacked?

The way you can handle a problem depends on the account. If it is an account the deals with finances, immediately call the bank or the company and tell them that you did not make the purchases.

Follow up with everything that your account hack affected. This way no one will come back to you when something falls through.

When it comes to passwords, the more characters the better. Yeah, it can be annoying typing in so many characters multiple times a day, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Keep what yours, yours; including all personal information.