South Georgians hack-proofing accounts for 2014 - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

South Georgians hack-proofing accounts for 2014

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Keeping your personal information safe while surfing the net can be challenging, and 2013 proved that it does take effort from browsers.

While nothing is 100% certain there are steps web surfers can take to make sure hackers can't easily access personal information.

2013 showed everyone how vulnerable we can be when it comes to digital privacy.

"With all of the hacking and stuff that's going on, with the big thing that went on at Target people have to be mindful of their accounts," said web surfer Betty Brandford.

Betty Brandford is not among the 40 million Target shoppers whose personal information was hacked, but she still makes sure her passwords are protected.

"About every sixty days, I'm changing up my password," said Brandford.

She plans to step up her security in 2014.

"At one time I would use really simple passwords like cat, dog, 1234, stuff like that, I wouldn't use back slashes, stuff that I could do quick, but now I'm mindful of doing stuff a bit harder," said Brandford.

Rodney Pennant says he changed his passwords before ringing in the new year.

"I changed it just before Christmas, so I'll probably wait until February or so to change it again," said Pennant.

Concerned web surfers can now also take advantage of verifying their information on social networks and should also check web site URLs.

"I don't go to a site that's not protected, so I always look to see if it's protected," said Brandford.

You can tell if a web site is protected if the URL begins with HTTPS rather than just HTTP.

Betty Brandford says she will no longer use the same passwords for every account.

"It might take a little more time to keep up with the passwords but I am mindful to do that because that's protecting me," said Brandford.

She says she doesn't mind dedicating the extra time to ensure peace of mind.

It's not a good idea to use the word "password" as your actual password, because that's an easy target for hackers so are number sequences like one through eight.

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