25 Worst Passwords of 2014

Every year, Splashdata releases the worst passwords for that year. There are changes, but some bad passwords just won’t go away. Splashdata has the list of the 25 most common passwords based on their records.

Check out the list.  If you use any of these passwords you should change it.  Also scroll to the bottom of the article for 3 easy tips on picking a better password.



Planning for Retirement

Have you been putting off planning for your retirement? If so, you’re not alone. Almost fifty percent of households surveyed by the Federal Reserve admitted having no financial plan for retirement. Fortunately, Lifehacker has come up with a six step plan to get you on track for retirement. Make sure you are prepared for the future by visiting your local credit union today to speak with a financial professional.

Learn about Lifehacker’s six step plan here.



Change Default Passwords

If you have recently bought a router or another electronic device, you may have noticed it comes with a default username and password. While it may seem that there is no reason to change the password, The Consumerist explains why doing so will help keep your information safe. Routers, for example, have a database for default usernames and passwords based on the make and model of the router. Changing default passwords is a pivotal step to ensure that your devices are secure.

Read the entire article by The Consumerist here.



Avoiding Common Scams

There are several ways that individuals can deceive unsuspecting victims. Being able to recognize a potential scam could save you a lot of money and time. ConsumerReports.org has seven scams that everyone should be aware of. These scams can be extremely difficult to recognize because the person trying to steal your information will lead you to believe they are helping you. However, ConsumerReports.org also advises what to do if you come across one of these scams and how to keep your information secure.

Learn about impersonation scams and how to protect yourself. 



Identifying Malicious Sites

Can you determine if a site is fake or real? In today’s online world it is getting harder and harder to do so. However, many times there are subtle differences that allow us to identify a real, secure site. Even something as small as a spelling error on a page could suggest that it is not authentic. Do you think you know all the signs of a fake site?  Symantec offers a fun quiz to test your knowledge.

Take the quiz today to find out.



Creating a Password You Can Remember

Making sure you have a secure and strong password is vital to keeping your information confidential. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to create passwords strong enough to withstand the attacks of hackers. Even after creating a secure password, remembering it can be near impossible. So how can you get the both a secure password and memorable one? Lifehacker has come up with four methods that users can try to create strong passwords that are also easy to remember.

Find out if one of these methods can help you.



Test Your Financial Literacy

Do you have a fundamental understanding of basic financial principles? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has created a quiz to test people’s  knowledge of how the market works with five general financial questions. After completing the quiz you can see how you stack up against the national average. Financial knowledge can be vital to ensuring a secure financial future.

Check and see if you need to increase your financial knowledge by taking the quiz today.



IRS and Identity Theft

It’s been a month since Tax Day, hopefully you have your tax return in hand, or have settled up with the government.  The IRS has published some tips with regard to Identity Theft.  Identity theft remains a top priority for the Internal Revenue Service in 2014. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. This year, the IRS continues to take new steps and strong actions to protect taxpayers and help victims of identity theft and refund fraud.

Read the IRS’s tips on protecting yourself.



Need Help Moving On From Windows XP?

It has been a few weeks since Microsoft officially cut off support, updates, and service for Windows XP. There are several options for moving on from Windows XP and on to a modern Operating System. Most Windows XP users will find upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 an easy transition. Check if your PC’s hardware can handle an upgrade to Windows 7/8, and then decide between the two new Microsoft Operating Systems. You can find more tips here. Upgrading to a modern Operating System will ensure you receive updates as they become available, keeping your PC secure from threats.

Here’s an example for how one Texas Credit Union is informing their members about end of support for Windows XP.



Cloud-based Password Services – Secure?

Security experts recommend using password services such as LastPass, PasswordSafe, and KeePass. Recent security concerns regarding HeartBleed and OpenSSL have many internet users questioning how secure their passwords really are. Is putting all of your passwords in one spot such a good idea? Lifehacker has the answer.



Heartbleed Vulnerability

If you’ve been following the news this week you probably heard something about the Heartbleed bug in popular internet encryption software, OpenSSL. Vendors and websites have been announcing whether or not they were affected, and how they have mitigated any risk.  Users of affected sites will need to change their passwords after the vendor has fixed the software bug and had SSL certificates reissued.  It’s Me 247 Online Banking was not affected.

“The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.”

Read More »



Identity Theft Most Common National Consumer Complaint

In an annual report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the top consumer complaint is Identity Theft. Out of 2 million complaints, 14% were Identity Theft related, with 20% of those complaints reported by 20-29 year olds. The report provides information on a state-by-state and national basis.

The FTC provides resources for dealing with and preventing Identity Theft: