By Eric Pottie
This week I want to continue talking about internet safety. Last week you may recall, I wrote about phishing scams and fraudulent e-mails. This week I’m discussing what I like to refer to as your first line of defense - passwords.
A strong password is crucial to making sure your information is safe. A scammer won’t need to try tricking you to get into your accounts if they can gain access through your password. Below are a few good practices to help increase your protection.
First, you need to make a unique password. You want to make sure it is at least eight characters long and has a mixture of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols. To be even more unique, you can use symbols in place of letters, so your password becomes for example P@$$w0Rd.
Secondly, don’t use the same password for everything. If a person was able to figure out your password once, they now have it for everything. You can think about passwords as keys. If you only had one key for your house, car, mailbox, work, diary, and you lost it, then a scammer has access to everything. But by having a different key for each item, you increase the chances of keeping your accounts save.
Third, you don’t want to use passwords that are easy to guess. Don’t use words like your last name that people can find out or words you posted online about yourself. Use childhood pet names, or other names that people wouldn’t be able to easily learn or guess about you.
Fourth, it is important to change up your passwords. You don’t want to keep the same password for years and years. To help increase your security, it is always a good idea to change it from time to time.
Finally, if you are worried that you won’t be able to remember all your passwords, write them down. The important thing is you don’t want to leave them out in the open. If a person were to come across that list of passwords, they would have access to your accounts.
Just like last week, the important thing is to think critically and be cautious.
This Thursday, November 30 from 6-8pm we are happy to be hosting our trivia night again. The response in October was very positive and we hope to continue that this month. Feel free to come alone or with a team of up to five. A variety of topics will be covered and a prize awarded to the winning team.
The Thomas H. Raddall library is open Tuesday & Wednesday from 10-5, Thursday 10-8, Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-2, Sunday 12-4 and closed Mondays. The Alean Freeman Library is open Wednesday 5-8 and Saturday 10-1. For more information about the library, you can find us on Facebook at South Shore Public Libraries, follow us on Twitter @ssplibraries or check our website at http://www.southshorepubliclibraries.ca. You can contact the Thomas H. Raddall branch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at