Monday, 3 November 2014

Keys to a Secure Password

Using short, simple passwords to access your online accounts, or using the same password everywere is a rookie mistake. It puts you at significantly higher risk of a security breach or identity theft. To increase your protection, Agents suggest using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Granted, when you create a password, you have to be able to remember it. But your larger concern should be keeping your information secure and private. Some sites have their own guidelines for how many and what characters can and cannot be used. Geek Squad suggests these guidelines to help you create a password that's less likely to be cracked.

Switch It Up With Your Characters
  • Use at least one upper case letter
  • Use at least one lower case letter
  • Use a number
  • Use a symbol character from this special set: ' ! @ $ % ^ & * ( ) - _ = + [ ] ; : ' " , < . > / ?
  • Use at least six characters
  • Don't use repeating characters
  • Don't use spaces

Don't Make It Guess Worthy
  • Do not use a common, dictionary word—not even spelled backwards
  • Don't use your name, a relative's name, a close friend’s name, or pet's name, either
  • Don't use personal numbers, such as your driver's license, license plate, social security, telephone, or birth date
  • It’s a good idea to change your passwords monthly. And if you must write them down, put them in a safe place and don’t include the URL
  • Use a password that is at least 8 characters long
  • Some examples of good passwords would be: Th1$isG00d!, B3nR0ck$

Use a personal algorithm
This sounds harder than it is. Many people use the same passwords for everything and this can be a problem. If your email gets hacked, the criminal may also gain access to your back account if it uses the same password.
But no normal human can remember random 8 character passwords for 50 different sites. To solve this quandary try creating a personal password algorithm.
An algorithm is essentially a set of rules that can be applied the same way to each site, but will result in a different password. For example, maybe my algorithm is to use my dog’s name (with some special characters (rex=r#x) The second and third letters of the website name (capitalized), and my favorite number (1337).
If I was creating a password for, my password would be r#xAY1337. Using the same set of rules, I could create a password for, r#xOO1337.
By using this set of rules, I can create strong passwords that are different on each site, and the great thing is, I don’t have to remember each password, I only have to remember the algorithm.

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