Change your password day February 1st

7.3 million Canadians were victims of cybercrime in 2010 – that’s 14 Canadians targeted every minute according to the Norton Cybercrime Report.

One of the easiest ways to avoid being a victim of cybercrime, is to change your password on a regular basis.

If you are someone who has one of the 525 worst passwords on the web, perhaps it’s time to take some action.

February 1st is ‘Change your Password’ Day, and Coquitlam RCMP want everyone to get on board with the initiative.

Popular site Gizmodo appointed Wednesday to be the day of password action, and explained that computers love our complicated passwords because “by carefully crafted a string of alphanumerical gibberish that you need tattooed on your palm to remember, you’ve made a password much easier to crack than, say, four simple unrelated words.” 

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That is not to say, an easy password such as ‘brown cow’ or ‘fluffy cloud’ is better. Pick a password that is difficult, but easy for you to remember. And don’t forget to include numbers and characters if you can.

“All a hacker needs is an email account and a person’s hometown or mother’s maiden name to break into a bank account. That information is readily available on Facebook,” Gizmodo reported.

Coquitlam RCMP has offered some tips to keep your online identity safe:

– Don’t share passwords to your email, bank accounts or personal social media accounts with anyone.

– Change your passwords regularly. Including the password for your cell phone.

– Learn to build strong passwords. Read “The 525 Worst Passwords Ever” by for more information and useful tips.

– Only access password-protected websites from your own computer. You have no way of knowing whether a public computer, or a friend’s computer, has surveillance software installed.