Tips For A Safe Password

I have been involved in computers my entire life and one thing that always makes me shake my heads is what people choose for passwords.  Some people put no effort into coming up with a password at all and it is dangerous.  In this era where we have had Sony, Gmail and most recently Equifax hacked and the personal information of millions of users breached, why would you not do what you can to secure your information.  Here are some simple tips for a safe password.

Tips for a safe password

Variety

A secure password is like a good dinner, not all of it is one thing.  Choose a combination of numbers, letters, special characters and capitals.   If your password is a simple word or even two words put together you put yourself at risk of a dictionary hack or brute force attack.

Take it even a step further and replace letters with numbers so that your password could be remembered like a simple word but in reality it would look like this Ch0c0l@t3 instead of chocolate.

Size Matters

As with many things in life size does matter.  A short password is exponentially easier to hack than one that is even just a few letters longer.  For example if your normal password is a combination of 7 letters, numbers, capitals and special characters then the possible numbers of combinations is over 3.5 trillion.  That number rises to 218 trillion by simply adding 1 more digit.  So if your password was 10 digits using the variety method above it would take the best computer today several years to hack it.

Simple Way To Create A Password

One trick to create a complex password that only you would know is to think of a sentence and place the first letter of each word in a row.  The Vancouver Canucks made it to the finals in 2011 – would be tvcmittfi2011 and by then adding variety to it, it could then become TvCM1tTfI2o1i.  Though you may take a little time to remember the variety you use, no one else could guess what your password would ever be.

Reset Your Password

Most systems will remind you to do this every few months, but if you use a system that does not then reset it at a regular interval.  When resetting do not use passwords that are related, so no going from Password1 to Password2.

Don’t Reuse

We all need several passwords so do not use the same password on more than 1 system.  If one system gets hacked then you are more likely to have a compromise in all the other systems you use the same password on.

TOP SECRET

You should not need to be told this but, DO NOT SHARE YOUR PASSWORD.  If you share your password the security it offers is null and void.

 

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