For now, today is the last of the daily challenges that relate to the recent Equifax breach. If you’ve missed the previous challenges, please feel free to review them here:
- Freeze Your Credit
- Obtain Your Credit Report
- Check All Your Financial Accounts
- Place a Fraud Alert with One Credit Reporting Company
- Opt Out of Pre-Screened Offers
- Protect Your Child’s Credit
I also posted my review of Zander’s identity theft protection and proposed that you consider purchasing identity theft protection.
Today, I suggest changing your passwords, just in case. After all, how long has it been since you’ve changed them?
What I Did
I logged into each of my accounts and changed the passwords on all of them.
- This process can be quite time-consuming if you have a lot of accounts online! Consider starting with financial and e-mail passwords, as they seem to be the most critical.
- For the safety of your accounts, if you are offered two-factor authentication, set it up.
- Log your passwords in writing on a piece of paper. If you need a password log template, click here to print mine. You’ll need to be a newsletter subscriber; click here to subscribe and click here to access the freebies I offer to subscribers.
- Create a strong password, not something like password or abcdefg. I suggest starting with a root and starting each account’s password. Here’s an example: I could use 2804GOO# as my root (this is an abbreviation of an address that I know well, but you could use many things as your root, preferably both numbers and letters and a symbol). Using that root, my password for Yahoo mail might be 2804GOO#Yahoo. My password for my bank account at First National Bank might be 2804GOO#FNB. My password for my AT&T Wireless account could be 2804GOO#ATT. Get it? The root is easier to remember than a lot of different passwords, and typically, so is the suffix. (Note: Log the passwords even if you think you can remember them.)
- Some sites won’t allow you to use lengthy passwords or symbols. Do your best to keep your passwords consistent–and definitely make sure you log the passwords when you have to modify your root.
- As always, make sure your computer is up-to-date and your computer virus- and malware-free before you begin.
- Log into your accounts, one at a time.
- Search each web site for the page where you can change your password.
- Change your password.
- Log your user ID/handle and your password on a password log.
- Log out.
How Did You Do?
How long did this task take you? Let me hear from you in the comments!