April 27, 2018

9 things retirees should never keep in their wallets

Password Cheat Sheet

The average American uses at least seven different passwords, and the more free time you have in retirement may find you web-surfing even more. Ideally, each of those passwords should be a unique combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and you should change them regularly. Is it any wonder we need help keeping track of them all?

However, carrying your ATM card’s PIN number and a collection of passwords (especially those for online access to banking and investment accounts) on a scrap of paper in your wallet is a prescription for financial disaster.

If you have to keep passwords jotted down somewhere, keep them in a locked box in your house. Or consider a password management service, such as LastPass that will store all of your passwords behind one master login—the only password you’ll need to remember. Family plans start at $4 per month. A password manager can also help you create strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. Passwords generated by the service will still be long, unpredictable and impossible to remember. But that’s okay because you’ll never need to type them in yourself.

To add another layer of security, enable two-factor or multistep authentication on any account that allows you to. You’ll enter your username and password as usual, but the account will then confirm your identity by asking you to enter a code that has been sent to your smartphone or e-mail address. The extra step deters hackers, and you’ll know if an intruder attempts to log in with your password.

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