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How many passwords do you have? In our electronic age, we all complain about the myriad of passwords we have to keep track of. But are your passwords really unique? Or, like most people, do you use the same one with slight variations?

We all think hacking will never happen to us.  But it can happen, and if it does you could lose not only your assets, but your very identity. I've provided some tips below to ensure you're not a victim.  In Exit Strategy,Kat Carter uses her password knowledge to stop a fraud and catch the criminal. 

If you're dreaming up New Year's resolutions, why not add password-stregthening as one of them? Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

1) Use a strong password.  This means combining alpha, upper & lower case, numeric and punctuation characters in your password.  Yes, it's harder to type and remember, but isn't protecting your identity, financial information and assets worth it?   newYear167?! is better than newyear.

2) Don't use common words, or something that could easily be tied to you, such as a family member's name. Here is a list of the 25 most hacked passwords:  25 most-hacked passwords
Is your password one of them? If so, change it right now.

3) Using the same password everywhere.  Maybe it's the same with simple variations, such as newyear1 or Newyear, but it's still essentially the same.  If one of your passwords is compromised, it's easy for the hacker to guess the others. 

Do you have any password horror stories to share? If so, please comment below or drop me an email. I'll talk more about password hacking and identity theft in future posts.

Find out more about fraud and forensic accounting in my debut thriller Exit Strategy available on Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Apple and other fine retailers.