State Attorney Phil Archer’s Monthly Brief For May Covers Stolen Credit Cards, Password Settings

By  //  May 4, 2017

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HOW TO Create Secure Passwords

ABOVE VIDEO: The Monthly Brief for May – The latest data breach at a major international hotel chain and how to find out if you’re one of the thousands of potential victims. Also, many of us struggle with trying to create and remember complicated passwords for online accounts, but we’ll share a simple technique that can solve that problem forever. And finally we’ll tell you how cyber crooks have gone “Smishing” and what you need to know to avoid it! -Phil Archer

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – International Hotels Group (IHG), the parent company for over 5000 hotels worldwide, including Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, Kimpton Hotels, Even Hotels and Hotel Indigo, is reporting a major data breach. 

Over 1,200 IHG branded franchise hotel locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been hit with payment card stealing malware.

Anyone who stayed at an affected property between September 29, 2016, and December 29, 2016, potentially had their payment information stolen.

IHG didn’t report this until March 2017 so it’s probable the breach continued till then. Stolen information included the cardholder’s name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code.

CLICK HERE to visit a page set-up by IHG that lets you search for affected hotels.

Use the drop boxes to locate hotels and if one you’ve visited is on the list, your financial data may have been stolen. If so, immediately contact your financial institution and change your online account login information.

ABOVE VIDEO: State Attorney Phil Archer always cautions the public about scams. Here’s one you should know about immediately. 

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Creating Secure Passwords:

You’ve probably heard that secure passwords require long strings of random letters and symbols that are nearly impossible to remember.

However a study by Carnegie Melon University has shown that unique passphrases with a personal meaning can be just as effective. To construct our easy to remember password, we’ll use the phrase “Fly me to the moon.”

Taking the first letter as a capital and the remainder as lower case, it converts to Flymetothemoon.

Next, add a unique way to customize it for each website. We’ll use the at “@” symbol followed by the capitalized first and last letter of the website name.

So for Amazon, our password would be Flymetothemoon@AN.

For JC Penney it would be Flymetothemoon@JY.

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Another technique is to use the first and last letter of each word in your phrase.

In our case it would become Fymetotemn@AN or using alternate capital and then lower case letters it becomes FyMeToTeMn@AN.

Using variations on these simple techniques can provide you with easy to remember very secure passwords for every site you do business with.

If you’d like to have The Monthly Brief delivered to your inbox every month, send us an email to PhilArcher@sa18.org with “Subscribe” in the message.

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