The importance of passwords

Making sure your computer or device is password-protected is one of the easiest things you can do. It’s one of the most effective ways of keeping your device secure from cyber criminals who might try to log in and access your files and data, or install malware (malicious software).

Without this simple step, your computer and all your personal information and files are left vulnerable to hackers, spammers, identity thieves – and even an offline thief if your computer is ever stolen.

Here are a few tips for protecting your passwords:

  • Always follow the guidelines for creating strong passwords.
  • Never write your password down or store it on or near your computer or laptop. Instead, commit it to memory so you and you alone are the keeper of the combination.
  • If you need to walk away from your computer while you’re at work, make sure you password lock it or set it to lock automatically.
  • As an extra layer of security on top of device password protection, you can also lock any documents or files you choose (such as financial documents or sensitive business files).  Check your OS help menu or the file’s application program (such as Microsoft Word or Excel) to learn how.
  • Never leave your laptop or tablet unattended in public spaces such as cafés and libraries – a moment is all a thief needs.
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