Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it , and get a new one every six months. ~Clifford Stoll
Welcome to Week 9 of our journey through the book Every Monday Matters by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza. I'm so glad you are here! The topic this week is internet safety. It seems that there is a news story every single day on another company or website being the target of a hacker attack. At the very least, I get several emails a day that are SPAM or obviously not sent by the person whose email is attached to account....pretty sure my son has never sent me an email that says "Star, Check this out!"...that is a hack.
The internet is a wonderful tool. Research takes less time and writing is so much easier and bill paying is too but it comes with a heavy price. Identity theft has hit an all time high of 16 million U.S. citizens a year. That is almost 44,000 incidents daily. The average cost of each incident is over $9,000. That is staggering, frightening and overwhelming.
It can happen even when everything about a transaction seems to go normally. I ordered a pressure canner from Amazon and it arrived promptly and in good condition - no indication whatsoever that anything was wrong. Two days after it arrived, I received a call from Amazon asking me about the transaction. Turns out that the transaction was fraudulently charged to someone else and the money I had paid when to a third party. There was not one single clue when I made the purchase that anything was amiss. I had never had trouble with Amazon purchases and considered them an extremely safe place to make transactions. I do still use them but I'm smarter now about how I do it.
Here are the 5 Actions to Take Today
- Passwords need to be complicated! Use different passwords for each site.
- Never use the save log-in and password feature.
- Always log off the internet or computer when finished.
- Keep your anti-virus software and firewall up to date.
- Never open emails that are from strangers or if they appear to be from someone you know but look otherwise weird.
Create a password that is truly unique and difficult to guess by using the first initials of a favorite quote or favorite song has been something that is working for me so far. Use of symbols or numbers in place of letters is a good tool too. For example:
"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it" becomes: T1tdtLhm!wraBgi1
"Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow" becomes: Mh@l1wfwWas
I hope you make this Monday Matter by protecting yourself when using the internet. It is well worth the effort. If you can't remember the last time you changed your passwords, please do it today.
Tomorrow I'll be writing about one of my favorite hobbies which is feeding the birds. I'll post an easy recipe for suet for both the bird feeder and your chickens too. I hope to see you then.
Peace be with you,
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