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Steps to take to protect yourself from online cyberattacks

Experts suggest it's time for you to let someone else create your online passwords.

ATLANTA — A cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline created disruptions for drivers, highlighting the need for everyone to protect themselves from the hackers that could target any of us.

Hackers are getting more sophisticated as they try their best to disrupt our lives and take our money. There are some relatively simple things you can do to protect yourself.

Dr. Andy Green, Information Security Educator and Researcher at Kennesaw State University, tells us the passwords we use for email or online banking are often too simple and easy to crack. Complicated passwords are difficult to remember, but Dr. Green has a solution.

Password managers will create and remember.

“All your passwords are centrally stored so the only complex password you need to remember is the password you need to get into your password manager,” says Dr. Green.

In addition to a password, multi-factor authentication uses your thumbprint, facial recognition, or a text sent to your phone to confirm you’re the person trying to enter a site.

Sometimes, a hacker will attempt to change your password. Many sites won’t allow it until you’ve answered a question—like “what’s your oldest child’s name?”

A hacker can probably find that information on your social media accounts, so when you’re setting up security to protect your password, use a little deception.

“Give them your third child’s name or a fictitious name,” says Green. “Something you’ll be able to remember.”

There are data breach notification sights that will alert you if something has gone wrong.

Dr. Green says unless you’re ultra-wealthy, hackers won’t spend a lot of time on you.

If you make it difficult for them, they’ll move on to the next potential target.