Protecting Your Passwords

Cyber attack
(Credit: MGN Online)
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When a big hack occurs, it can be a major problem.

"A database hack means they hack into the database and get all of your information--you're username, password, your email, your phone number, anything that company has on file," said Jason Denovich, the owner of Newlook Computer & Data.

Hacks and hackers can be especially damaging for folks who use only one password for all their online accounts.

"Unfortunately if you use eBay, no matter how defensive you are and what security you have, there's no way around it," said Denovich, explaining cyber attacks.

It's the biggest reason why you should have unique passwords. The folks at Newlook Computer and Data in St. Johns recommend people actually write out their passwords with asterisks using the same key phrase in each, and adding a unique four or five character ending. You can save the file in a text document on your computer. Below is an example

Account A
Username: ExampleAccount
Password: B*******!!99

Account A
Username: ExampleAccount
Password: B*******D8%2

Account A
Username: ExampleAccount
Password: B*******6X1@

Account D
Username: ExampleAccount
Password: B*******4$hT

Since the key phrase in all the passwords isn't ever written anywhere, you'll know all your passwords and no one else will ever know any of them.

"There is a threat, and we do believe that critical infrastructure is essential for the well being of our economy, the well being of our state and of the region," said Dan Lohrmann, Michigan's Chief Security Officer.

Michigan is the first state in the country to organize a "Cyber Civilian Corps," that could respond in case of cyber disaster. The group of volunteers is looking to add people to its ranks.

"There could be a variety of scenarios where critical infrastructure is impacted by an outage, and so we need to be prepared. We need to be ready in the event of a cyber emergency," said Lohrmann.

Something experts said is a growing concern in the digital age. Hackers attack state web sites an estimated 500,000 times each day. They said you should change your passwords about once every six months.

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