Keep your info private while online. Here’s how…

Your Passwords Can Be Easily Hacked

An alarming fact about the Internet: it takes only 10 seconds to crack a lowercase password that is 6 characters long.

Add two extra letters and a few uppercase letters and it could take a hacker 3 years to crack your password.

Add just one more letter, and then some numbers and symbols, and it will take 44,530 years to crack your password.

The solution? Make sure passwords for your online accounts are at least 8 characters long, include some upper-case letters, some numbers, and at least one symbol.

Your Browser Can Pick Up Viruses and You Won’t Even Know It

When you visit a web page, your Internet browser relies on a variety of software programs such as Flash and Java so you can see all of the content. Unfortunately, web pages sometimes host viruses in Flash banner and pop up ads that can be downloaded onto your computer without you ever knowing it.

The solution is to make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date, and that you browse using the highest security setting. The Chrome web browser also will actually warn you ahead of time that the web page may contain a virus or other malware. Google Search results will also warn you that a site may be compromised or hacked, and is therefore dangerous to visit.

Your Computer Isn’t Any Safer Than the Internet

Even if you have what are considered to be strong passwords, and even if you try to stay off the Internet as much as possible, you still must carefully guard your privacy.

Did you know your computer hard drive is storing information about you? Every time you create or edit a Word or Excel document, your computer stores small bits of information. This can include phone numbers and banking information.

Every time you use the Internet, your computer is storing information about what web sites you visit, as well as you Internet search history. Your entire history of instant messenger chats may be stored on your computer. All of this information poses a potential privacy risk if it falls into the wrong hands.

And on a secondary note, these unneeded files are taking up valuable space on your computer. Manually searching for and erasing all of this information is a tedious and timely task. The solution? Install a PC cleaner program that removes all of this personal information quickly and easily.