Staying safe online

Staying safe online

STAYING SAFE ONLINE: Experts say simple tips can help you avoid being the victim of online crimes like identity theft. Photo:

NEW YORK (AP) — With the recent news that a Russian hacker ring has amassed some 1.2 billion username and password combinations, it’s a good time to review ways to protect yourself online.

The hacking misdeeds were described in a New York Times story based on the findings of Hold Security, a Milwaukee firm that has a history of uncovering online security breaches.

One of the best things you can do is to make sure your new passwords are strong. Here are seven ways to fortify them:

  • Make your password long.
  • Use combinations of letters and numbers, upper and lower case and symbols such as the exclamation mark.
  • Avoid words that are in dictionaries, even if you add numbers and symbols.
  • Substitute characters. For instance, use the number zero instead of the letter O, or replace the S with a dollar sign.
  • Avoid easy-to-guess words, even if they aren’t in the dictionary.
  • Never reuse passwords on other accounts.
  • Some services such as Gmail even give you the option of using two passwords when you use a particular computer or device for the first time. If you have that feature turned on, the service will send a text message with a six-digit code to your phone when you try to use Gmail from an unrecognized device.
  • Local Headlines

    1 day ago in Local

    Weekend Storm Latest

    WW Advisory

    Strong winds and accumulating snows are the reasoning for the winter weather advisory for the broadcast area.

    1 day ago in Local

    Storm Lake Cemetery OWI Accident


    Storm Lake, IA (KICD)–Charges have been filed in connection to a drunken accident in which several headstones were struck at…

    1 day ago in Local

    BVU Student Receives National Fellowship

    school news

    A junior biology major at Buena Vista University receives a national fellowship.

    1 day ago in Local

    H & R Block Winner

    dollar sign

    An Estherville woman is a winner in a national promotion, by a tax company.

    2 days ago in Local

    Eggs and Issues #3

    Eggs and Issues

    The third session of Eggs and Issues is scheduled for next weekend.