Amazon – 3 Steps to keep your account from getting hacked

Amazon is one of the more popular e-commerce companies who offer a variety of services. This is another area where you should consider implementing a strong password and two factor authentication to keep you from loosing access to Amazon. Follow the steps outlined here to help prevent that from happening.

1. Use a Strong Password

For those that aren’t familiar with this term, a Strong Password is one that contains (where permitted by the website or service) a combination lower case letters, uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation or other special characters to make up a password. The longer the password is, the long it will take for someone to guess or hack your password. This is an area where I am probably as guilty as everyone else is on this. I have a “favorite” password or two that I liked to use in the past. This kept me from having to have a way to keep track of all the passwords that I used on different websites. With more websites adding additional layers of security such as challenge questions, etc., I have had to start using a password manager app to help keep track of the different passwords, the challenge questions and answers used on a particular website, the recovery procedure if I am locked out of a website, what additional login procedures I have used for that site, etc.

I use a password manager app called mSecure. It is a multi platform (i.e. Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, etc) app so that you have close to the same interface regardless of how you are using it. It also has several different ways to synchronize the password database so that you should also have the same version of the login information on each of your devices that you use it on. There are a variety of apps to choose from in this area, so look for the one that best works for you.

2. Use a Unique Password

This one will be a bit of a pain but the time taken to do this will pay off in the long run. Look at it this way, if one of your logins on a particular site is compromised or hacked, you have taken a step to minimize the potential for additional website logins to be breached as well. Most password manager apps have the functionality of helping you generate a unique password. There are other apps that do this as well. A search of the app store for your phone or the internet for you laptop/desktop should show you some options to look at.

Different websites have different rules for how you can make your password strong. Some will let you use “special” characters such as * or +, others wont let you use those characters but will make sure that you dont use a password that can be looked up as a dictionary word. Some will not allow the same character or number to be used repeatedly. Remember, the more uniqueness you can have in a password makes it that much more difficult for someone to hack your account.

3. Enabling Two Factor Authentication

  • Login to Amazon account
  • Click on Your Account
  • Scroll down the List and click on the 2nd Your Account item listed
  • From the Your Account Page, click on Change Account Settings option under Settings, Account Settings
  • Click on Advanced Security Settings
  • At the Two Step Verification page, click on the Get Started button
  • Enter your cell phone number where directed on the screen
  • Click On the Send code button
  • When the Add backup method screen appears, Select Authenticator app
  • Do a screen capture of the displayed barcode
  • Scan the barcode shown on the screen
  • Enter the value from the authenticator app you are using
  • Click on Verify
  • When How to use Two-Step Verification screen appears, click on the Got it button at the bottom of the screen

This configuration will go to the cell phone first, then the authenticator app, you can change the order at any time.

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