Security Conscious

Home security in today’s internet driven world is not just about keys or locks. Today’s technological homes involve so much more from app’s that communicate with our refrigerator, security cameras, to baby monitors and everything in between.  Smartphones and the internet have changed the way that security for homes should be looked at and protected. The first and probably the most important thing that should be done is to change the password from the factory setting.

Every item that is password protect that comes from the manufacture is set with a password with one of a few; some are 1234, 0000, or 1111. A word to the wise every item that connects to the internet or Wi-Fi has a password and should be changed. Something to consider “Hackers are costing consumers and companies between $375 and $575 billion, annually.” (Risen, 2014). This does not consider events that are not reported, as well as the number of times a video feed is hacked into.

This includes not only passwords for email, bank accounts or debit/credit cards. But also for the home Wi-Fi system, X-box or play station, baby monitors and Yes Even Cell Phones, laptops, home computers, and even if the front door has a keypad that also should be changed on a regular basis. Industry experts suggest picking a day such as your birthday and use that to set a schedule for changing passwords on a routine basis.

A password should be complex, yet simple enough to remember. Another great idea is to create a two (2) step authentication process, in which you enter your password and then you are sent via a text message or email a code that must be entered to gain access to the site. While there is the temptation to write down our passwords, due to so many different sites or apps that we use, they should never be written down. There are programs or apps available that create a “Master” password in which the program creates a master password for all your sites you visit, meaning you only must create and use one password.

The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Consider a 12-character password or longer. Avoid names, places, and dictionary words. Mix it up. Use variations on capitalization, spelling, numbers, and punctuation.  Some examples are WOO!TPwontSB = Woohoo! The Packers won the Super Bowl!  or 1tubuupshhh…imj = I tuck button-up shirts into my jeans. Another suggestion from experts is to use twelve (12) random words. You can start with a phrase such as; “Even in winter, the dogs party with brooms and neighbor Kit Kats.” When you place this password into a password checker, it will take 238 quadragintillion years of brute force to attack or crack this password.

As Realtors ® we are to help our customers or clients to buy homes at the lowest price and sell at the highest price and help to education them in the process. We also inform them on neighborhood areas, such as grocery stores, schools and places of activities even some agents provide crime statics or location of police stations or fire stations. Why not educate them on how to secure their information or our information especially with the private information we receive from our customers and their lenders and other places.