One of the best ways to protect against identity theft is to use strong passwords for all of your logins. Strong passwords make it practically impossible for identity thieves to guess your password.
A strong password is a password that is hard for someone else to guess. The strongest passwords are random combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, together with numbers and symbols.
An example of a password that isn't strong is the name of your cat - let's say
Snowflake. Someone who knows you might guess that you
Snowflake as a password. On the other hand, they won't be
able to guess a strong password such as
The best way to create a strong password is to use a computer to randomly generate a string of letters, numbers and symbols. Harp Password has a password generating function that lets you create strong passwords. People are not very good at coming up with random strings. Passwords created by people tend to be much easier for hackers to crack.
There is no need to remember strong passwords. Use Harp Password to store your passwords securely on your computer.
The problem with using the same password for more than one login is that if somebody gets your password for one login somehow, then they will have your password for your other logins.
This can happen even if you always use strong passwords. For example, you might log in to a new Web site to get some useful information. If a hacker breaks into that Web site then they might get your password. They can then try your password on other Web sites. If they find another Web site that you use this password on, then they will be able to log in to it.
If you use Harp Password primarily on your home or notebook computer and you need to sometimes use your passwords on your work computer, then you can install Harp Password on your work computer also. The Harp Password user license grants you the right to use Harp Password on up to three computers.
You can automatically sync your Harp Password files on your different computers by setting your Harp Password folder to be in your Dropbox folder. This can be either a folder on your Dropbox account or a shared folder.
The Harp Password file is encrypted, and your Dropbox account is secure, so your passwords are safe!
In general, it is not a good idea to write your passwords down. To keep them safe you will need to lock up your passwords, making it inconvenient to use them. It is much better to use Harp Password to store your passwords securely on your computer.
The one exception is your password to open Harp Password, which we recommend that you write down and keep in a secure place such as a safe or a locked drawer. This password should be something you won't forget, but just in case it is a good idea to keep a written copy of the password locked away as a backup.
If you use strong passwords, then there generally is no reason to ever change your passwords. The exception is if someone discovers one of your passwords somehow. Naturally, you should then generate a new password for that login.
Phishing is when a hacker sends you an email that appears to be from a bank or other legitimate business. The email asks you to log in. You appear to be logging in to the legitimate Web site, but in reality it is a copy made by the hacker. If you log in, the hacker will get your password for that site.
To avoid this problem, always make sure that an email is really from the institution that it appears to be from. In general, emails from legitimate businesses will have have your name in them, whereas phishing emails won't. You can double check by examining the urls in the email before clicking on them. If they don't match your institution's url, then don't click on them. You can check the urls by hovering over the links before clicking on them.
If you are not sure how to check the urls in an email, or don't want to bother with that, then it is recommended that you never click on a link in an email to open a Web site. Instead, open the Web site by typing the url directly in your browser, or by using your favorites, or by using Harp Password.
You can install .Net Framework by downloading it from the Microsoft Web site. .Net Framework is free software that is required to run some Windows programs, including Harp Password.