It is a jungle out there, on the Internet, and using strong passwords greatly lowers the overall risk from online predators, email hoaxes, phishing scams, etc. Creating strong passwords for all your online accounts is not a thing you should do. It’s a thing you must do.
Below you can read about some simple but effective techniques to help you decrease the likelihood of your passwords being cracked.
Use different passwords for each account:
The logic behind doing this is obvious. If your password gets cracked once, all of your online accounts are endangered. A recent study by BitDefender showed that 75 percent of people use their e-mail password for Facebook, as well. If that’s also your PayPal password or online banking, you’ll be in hot water.
Passwords are like underwear:
And therefore you should change them often (agreed that maybe every day would be overkill. For the password, not the underwear.). Do not share them with anybody, not even your lover, and don’t leave them out for others to see. And they should have some mysterious ways that only you know about.
Avoid common words:
Cracking software makes use of dictionaries to guess your password. Therefore, if the word you use is in a dictionary, it’s not a strong password. Using numbers or letters in well known sequences, such as “1234″ or “qwerty”, do not make a strong password either. Using the name of your parents, your kids, your pets, your city or your birthday is the worst of possible combinations.
So how do you make a strong password? Here’s some tips:
- Spell a word backwards. For example, change Canada into adanaC.
- Substitute numbers for letters and viceversa, as in pa55w03d
- Random use of capital letters, as in AtRebLa
- Spice the whole thing with some special characters like ^AtRe.bLa”
- Use passwords made of at least 8 characters. The longer the password, the stronger it is.
If you prefer, there are plenty of tools that can create a strong password for you. For example the Secure Password Generator, is an on-line free application that allows you to create random passwords that are highly secure and extremely difficult to crack or guess, based on your own pre-defined criteria, such as how many characters, mixed cases, numbers, special characters, etc.
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