Submitted by Jon Freeman

You may have heard the recent news that Twitter discovered a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. What does this mean? If you have a Twitter account, your password could be exposed. Twitter says that there are no signs of a breach or misuse by anyone currently, but the Federal Trade Commission says it’s still a good idea to change your password. Did you use the password for your Twitter account for other accounts as well? You should probably change those passwords too.

To read some news stories about the Twitter bug issue feel free to read recent articles from the following:

NBC News
CNN Money
Fox Business

Here are some tips on creating new passwords from the Federal Trade Commission:

1. Make your password long, strong and complex. That means at least twelve characters, with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words, phrases or information.

2. Don’t reuse passwords used on other accounts. Use different passwords for different accounts so that, if a hacker compromises one account, he can’t access other accounts.

3. Use multi-factor authentication, when available. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.

4. Consider a password manager. Most people have trouble keeping track of all their passwords. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a reputable password manager, an easy-to-access application that stores all your password information. Use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager.

5. Select security questions only you know the answer to. Many security questions ask for answers to information available in public records or online, like your zip code, mother’s maiden name, and birth place. That is information a motivated hacker could get. And don’t use questions with a limited number of responses that attackers can easily guess – like the color of your first car.

6. Change passwords quickly if there’s a breach. If you get a notification from a company about a possible breach, change the password for that account right away, and any other account that uses a similar password.

To get more information about personal finance from the library, visit our Personal Finance GCPL Guide.