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Securing your Online Presence

In today's world, we need to be vigilant about making sure ALL of our online accounts are secure. This could be Social Media, Banking, Credit Cards, in essence, anything that you have to create an account for and use a login and password. Here are 5 tips to help you secure your online presence.

  1. Use strong passwords. These passwords would be 18-26 characters long with UPPERCASE/lowercase/numbers/ Special Characters such as !#&**, each system will be different on the special characters you can use. You might ask why. The longer your password and the more of these characters you use, the longer it will take for a hacker to break your password.

  2. Stop using your Social Security Number on medical forms. There is no state or federal law that requires a SSN to be used on medical forms but sometimes this is not an option because the doctor's office might have to have it to research insurance issues. Ask the doctor's office staff if this is absolutely necessary. If not, don't give it to them. If it is necessary, be sure to get a copy of their Privacy Statement that shows how it will be safely stored and how it will be used. Remember that the doctor's office has to follow the federally mandated HIPPA laws for protecting your information.

  3. Use a Unique password for all accounts. Don't use the same password across accounts. The reason for this is, if you do and a hacker breaks your password, they can access everything you have if you use the same password. Use different passwords for each account.

  4. Use Two-Factor Authentication. You may not be liking me right now because yes, two-factor authentication takes a little extra time. But with this option, if someone tries to hack your account and you have two-factor authentication set up, you will get a text message, email or notification from your authentication app letting you know that someone is trying to log in to your account. You can say if it was you or not and save yourself a lot of heartache. This even goes for your social media accounts too!

  5. Use a password keeper to store your passwords. I use Keeper but there are several really good ones out there and they are safe and secure. They also give you the option of letting the app create your unique password for you and stores it. Then if you forget it, all you have to do is look it up. Research the keepers that are out there and find a reliable one that suits your needs.

These are just a few ways that you can protect your accounts. I do not guarantee that they will keep you from ever being hacked, but these tips will help.

I am a Certified Privacy Advocate through the Photo Managers and I am here to help you secure your online presence by sharing tips and tricks that will help keep your information safe.

Next Monday's topic will be securing your Facebook account...


Elizabeth Shaw is the owner of Elegant Photo Solutions, LLC, a Certified Photo Manager/Privacy Advocate through The Photo Managers and a FOREVER Executive Ambassador. It is her goal to help families preserve their photos and documents for future generations so that they will know who their families were and where they came from. You can contact her by emailing

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