Internet Security: The Secret to Keeping your Password Is A Secret
Most of us have a ‘go-to’ password that we use for just about everything online – our online bank accounts, Facebook, online subscriptions, and more. And let’s be honest – half the time we forget the password and simply create a new one each time we visit the site.
Sound like a familiar scenario?
Here’s the problem with it – having so many computer and website passwords are incredibly difficult to keep straight, but by simplifying them, or making them common across all accounts makes it incredibly easy to hack.
Below are some common-sense, internet security IT-approved tips on how to keep your passwords organized and easier to remember without compromising the security of your accounts and information:
- Don’t pick things that are easy to guess. The worst passwords include things like “123456,” the word “password,” your birthday, your kids’ names, your pets’ names, or any other easily discovered personal information.
- Do not use the same password for all accounts. If a hacker were to uncover the password for one of your accounts, they can very easily try to gain access to other things. Vary your passwords as much as possible between different accounts, particularly avoiding repetition between those of high importance.
- Do use upper and lower case letters. These subtle variances make it harder for hacking software to crack your password.
- Do use numbers. While avoiding ones in numerical order or your birthday, these can also increase the security of your password.
- Do use symbols. When a symbol, such as a punctuation mark, pound sign, asterisk, ampersand, percentage sign, or other character is added, it makes your password 1500 times harder for hacking software to guess it, as opposed to only being 26 times harder when you add a letter.
Above all, the most important thing for making a hard-to-guess password is length. Your typical website or account login asks for a password that is 8-14 characters long. If you devise a password that reaches the maximum length, this doesn’t mean that your password is ‘unhackable,’ it simply means that it will be a bit harder to crack than shorter passwords.
One methodology for creating a password that is both very secure and easily remembered is called “password padding.” Using this method, a password would use all 14 characters (or whatever is the maximum limit), made up of a combination of letters and symbols, to create a simple, easy to remember key. By taking a word that means something to you, or is easily remembered, then by “padding” it with a series of equally easy to remember symbols, you can create a password for your personal information that is both secure and easily recalled.
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