Be proactive to protect passwords on smart devices

Jeremy Taylor.jpg

Jeremy Taylor


Business Columnist

Monday, June 3, 2019

Approximately 34 percent of U.S. consumers have been notified their data was breached during a cyber-attack, according to a survey released by the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB).

In an age where smartphones can hold everything we need to keep our business running on a daily basis, being conscious of the ways we can keep that information safe and secure is an important factor in how we use our devices. U.S. Cellular provides customers with the latest technology to not only enhance their business relationships, but to keep themselves protected as well.

U.S. Cellular offers smartphone users the following tips to keep passwords and other private information safe:

■ Change passwords frequently. This keeps accounts secure and makes it less likely that someone will decipher your password.

■ Make passwords hard to crack. Use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters to create passwords that are difficult to guess. Try not to use birth dates or other information that could be easily guessed by someone trying to access the account. Consider a “passphrase” and put together a string of words peppered with symbols and numbers.

■ Email passwords are important. An email account can lead hackers to other accounts and ultimately expose a lot of personal information. Make email passwords difficult to guess and change them often.

■ Use different passwords for each account. As tempting as it may be to simplify things by using the same password for multiple accounts, doing so exposes all those accounts if one of them is hacked. It is best to use a unique password for each account.

■ Utilize the latest technology. With the new features on popular smartphones such as the iPhone XS or Galaxy S10, protecting devices can be taken a step further using Touch ID and Face ID. Since these are not passwords that can be guessed, an extra layer of security is added.

■ Store passwords and private information securely on your smartphone. A password storing service such as LastPass allows users to conveniently manage and store passwords and other private information under a secret master passcode.

Jeremy Taylor is director of sales for U.S. Cellular in eastern North Carolina.