Password Rage, It’s a Thing

Password Rage, It’s a Thing

Given the frequency with which we’re all asked to create, change, remember and — of course — use passwords these days, I suppose it was only inevitable that password rage (think road rage when you forget a password) would become “a thing.” Results of a survey by Centrify, a U.K. password management firm, showed that 25 percent of people forget their passwords at least once daily — and that password rage may lead to yelling, crying and yes, tantrum-throwing.

All of which is to say: It’s completely understandable if, upon losing, forgetting or being told to change one of your dozens of passwords, you want to call it a day and stop. That’s very likely a mistake, says LifeLock Security Communications Director Joe Gervais. (You may remember Joe from earlier columns; when he’s not doing his day job, he hangs out in hacking forums and attends hacking conventions, though he only utilizes his hacking skills for good. We like to imagine him at a computer — wearing a cape.)

How to Make Passwords Less Annoying

How to Make Passwords Less Annoying

Let’s be honest, passwords are really annoying. Choose a secure password. Change your passwords again. Use more passwords. Enough already, right? The fact is that we’re stuck using passwords because the internet wasn’t designed to be secure.

It was a great idea 50 years ago as a way to move a lot of data between a few research centers. Fast forward several decades, suddenly the World Wide Web is being used for online banking, accessing medical records, storing sensitive selfies in “the Cloud,” you name it. Security was an afterthought, and passwords are part of the solution. Now we’re all stuck having to use them.

Oh My Burrito!

Oh My Burrito!

Carne asada, black beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and spicy salsa.

That’s what I like in my super burrito when I leave the taqueria. One thing I don’t plan on leaving behind though, is my credit card data for cyberthieves to steal and siphon away my cash.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Spring Cleaning

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Spring Cleaning

I spent the entire weekend spring cleaning. I went through my closet and dresser, and even tackled under the kitchen and bathroom sink—seriously, how can one person have so many half-used hair products? After I got home from donating eight (yes, eight!) bags full of items, I snuggled up with my laptop to watch Netflix and check email. Still half in cleaning mode, I realized that although my apartment was now tidy and organized, my inbox was a total mess. It got me thinking, “How do I organize my digital life”?

At LifeLock, we encourage people to be responsible and mindful of where and how they share personal information online. Part of being responsible is also staying organized and properly securing online accounts and files.

In today’s ever-evolving world of technology and cyber threats, keeping your digital life organized and secured is perhaps as, if not more, important than keeping your closet tidy.

Here are five digital-spring-cleaning tips to get you started:

  1. Securely get rid of old devices

Old smart phones, hard drives, laptops and tablets can all contain sensitive information. If not securely and properly disposed of, these devices could be compromised and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

  • If you’re donating or recycling old devices, use the reset function to restore the device to its original, factory setting. Remember to remove SIM cards and hard drives, and scrub old data to securely wipe your storage prior to donating.
  • Check with your local electronic store—it likely has recycling receptacles available for these devices. Alternatively, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website has a directory of stores that offer similar recycling options.

2. Change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication

 Passwords play a huge role in safeguarding your online accounts from cybercriminals.

  • Longer passwords are better. Be sure not to share passwords across important accounts. Since remembering all of your passwords can be daunting, use a password manager such as Keeper or LastPass to manage and securely store your complex passwords for you.

3. Check your security settings

This goes for devices and online accounts. Part of being digitally organized is knowing who has access to your information.

  • Our friends at the Identity Theft Resource Center suggest checking permission settings of installed apps on your phone to censor which apps, if any, have access to your contact list, photos, location etc.
  • For social media accounts, check privacy settings to make sure you know who can see your profile, photos and posts.

 4. Delete or maintain email accounts

Have an old email accounts that you no longer use?

  • Review the account for any messages or attachments you want to save and, then, delete the account. It’s not providing any benefits, and, in the event the account is breached, it could put you at risk.

For email accounts that you want to keep:

  • Log in and clean it up. Delete emails, chat messages and unnecessary profile information. In the event of a breach in the future, the less you have in a breached account, the less likely you’ll be victimized by an identity thief who gains access.
  1. Update software on all internet-connected and mobile devices

Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is one of the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.

  • Regularly check for software updates, and when possible, have system updates automatically occur.

The good news about this cleaning checklist is that you can do it all from your bed. I did!

Now…back to Netflix. Happy cleaning!


Posted by Sydney Brown, associate blog editor


#Adulting Will Be Easy for These High Schoolers

#Adulting Will Be Easy for These High Schoolers

Making good choices is not easy, but it may be even more challenging as a high schooler.

Today’s high school students are faced with a whole gamut of choices to make, from relationships and future plans to how they earn and spend their money. However, when it comes to personal finance and consumer rights, teenagers sadly may not be getting the skills and knowledge in these areas that they need to become successful adults.

That’s where LifeSmarts comes in.