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How Safe Are Your Passwords?

 

Update and welcome to my new site.

A Well Styled Life has made the switch from Blogger to WordPress.org and is very lucky to be here.

Only days before my blog was moved over, it got hacked. Stolen and redirected by someone who removed most of my comments, messed with the insides (that’s technical jargon) and splattered it with ads. I had no idea my information was so unsafe.

In quick succession I found myself locked out of my emails, Go Daddy account, 2 bank accounts and blogger. Go Daddy, the banks and emails were easy to secure… the blog was not. (He took no money so perhaps I can count myself lucky.)

Then he began emailing me…demanding money for the return of my blog and all my online information. It felt like I had a peeping tom. He would email me… telling me what I posted here and there on the web. Creepy, scary then down right infuriating. He also managed to mess with my IPad…so Apple wiped it clean and I started fresh with it.

Lisette from High Note Designs was in the process of moving my blog and knew what to post on the Google forums,  which convinced Google I was the rightful owner of my blog. She spent hours helping me last weekend. At one point my emails were so locked up we could only communicate through our twitter accounts.

 

 

How Safe Are Your Passwords?

 

 

I discovered someone, other than me, had logged into my email back in August! It had never occurred to me to check. I’d like to share a few tips I learned as a result of this experience.

How to choose a safe password:

  • Use a different password for every account you own.
  • Change your passwords frequently.
  • Set up 2 step verification for your email accounts.
  • Don’t use any personal information in your passwords. Even things like the street address from when you were a child or your parents anniversary are available on line and not safe to use.
  • Use a long password which combines upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.
  • Beware of sites which could collect your password as you sign on.

 Safeguards for your Gmail account:

  •  When you change your email password, go to the bottom right of any gmail page and click on DETAILS to log your account out of every other device it is signed in on.
  • Go to your google SECURITY setting and verify that you are the only person who has been accessing your account. There you will see the IP address and location of everywhere your email has been accessed from.

 

Learn about password managers  here . There are multiple companies offering these services and they all have different features so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.

How safe are your passwords?

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14 Comments

  1. October 15, 2014 / 8:47 am

    I have missed this post somehow and am grateful that you took the time to post these tips. Thank you.

    • Jennifer
      October 16, 2014 / 8:56 am

      These are just a few of the things we can do to protect ourselves. I’m learning more ways everyday.

  2. October 8, 2014 / 2:55 am

    What a horror story. I do have a basic backup of my blog should anything bad happen. Good advice however if I had to change my passwords all the time I think I would go bonkers. Safari does supply special complex passwords. The only problem is if you try to log on on another computer it is impossible. I never use gmail or hotmail am very suspicious of both.

    • Jennifer
      October 8, 2014 / 9:22 am

      Using different computers now makes me nervous as well. A blog backup would have helped, but since I was locked out, I couldn’t repoint my blog to my control until Google decided to help.

  3. Wendy
    October 7, 2014 / 5:39 pm

    Yikes! I am not going to comment on my passwords, :-), but I am definitely going to do some work on this. Poor you!

    • Jennifer
      October 7, 2014 / 5:45 pm

      Since you’re on blogger, be sure you add 2 step verification for the email it’s associated with. As for my feed…it’s anyone’s guess where it went.

  4. Jen
    October 7, 2014 / 2:44 pm

    What a nightmare. I’m glad you got things sorted. Welcome to WordPress. After a brief stint at blogger, I have returned to wp too. Beautiful blog!

    • Jennifer
      October 7, 2014 / 4:03 pm

      Thanks!! It really was a nightmare. The security is so much better at WP I’m thrilled to be here but still working out some kinks.

  5. October 7, 2014 / 9:15 am

    SO, Thats why I didNOT receive an email notification??HOW HORRIFIC!
    Well he picked the WRONG person to MESS with DIDN”T HE!
    Looking forward to our ADVENTURE………………XX

    • Jennifer
      October 7, 2014 / 4:01 pm

      I’m still working on how to get my feed up and running so very glad you found me. Yes…it’s going to be fun!!xo

  6. October 7, 2014 / 6:47 am

    That’s horrid! I’ll admit that I find the entire process of inventing and remembering passwords absolutely exhausting, especially with the addition of ones like my work password that have to be changed every 90 days. I have a few systems in place at the moment, but it’s tiresome, isn’t it?!
    Glad to hear you were able to work your way through the violation and that you’ve found a lovely new home.

    • Jennifer
      October 7, 2014 / 3:59 pm

      It is simply amazing how many passwords I need to remember, so a product like Dashlane seems like the answer for me.

  7. October 5, 2014 / 9:47 pm

    Hello Jennifer, I hope you are enjoying your much needed getaway after a harrowing time in cyberspace. I am so sorry you experienced such a travesty to your privacy. What a relief to know that your blog and accounts are restored. Your new site here is beautiful. Welcome to WordPress.org!! Thank you for this detailed account of how to keep are web life safe.
    xx, Heather

    • Jennifer
      October 5, 2014 / 10:10 pm

      You’re so sweet, my friend. I’m actually finding this getaway, combined with my cyberspace assault….very motivating. I hadn’t realized how fragile our privacy is on the Internet. It’s a razor line between us and them.

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