Thirteen facts about passwords and security. Passwords are a part of our day-to-day lives, so let's look at how to (and how not to) create them.
1. Make them longer. The longer the password, the harder it is to remember. On the other hand, the longer the password, the harder it is for hackers. It's best to put them in the double digits.
2. Don't put your password on a sticky note on your computer. If someone steals your computer, they have your password. Duh. Yet I have a pink post-it with my work password right here.
3. Use at least a little imagination. Two of the most common passwords are 123456 and Password.
4. The keyboard should not be your guide. Qwerty and Poiuyt are also common passwords.
5. Don't be typical. Hackers report that women tend to use proper names as passwords, men tend to use hobbies.
6. Use your favorite quotes or lyrics. They are easy for you to remember, and likely hard for a stranger to guess. Example: Are you a fan of 1972's The Godfather? Try this as your password -- Imhaohcr72. "I made him an offer he couldn't refuse" is the quote, 1972 is the year the movie came out. Love Elvis? Yanbahd56 ("You ain't nothing but a hound dog," from 1956).
7. Your routine could provide your passwords. Think about things you do every day that could yield passwords. 8:10Train or Dinner@6:30 would be easy for you to remember but hard for a hacker to guess.
8. Substitute symbols for letters.
You want to immortalize your childhood pup, Fido. He was a good boy and Fidogoodboy1 is easy to remember. But making a simple change -- substituting a 0 for the o and going from Fidogoodboy1 to Fid0goodboy1 -- will slow hackers down.
9. Don't use the same password everywhere. Yeah, I do it more than I should, too.
10. Mix it up a little. Redfiretruck1 may be obvious and easy to figure out. 1Firetruckred could be tougher.
11. Combine words that may be meaningless to someone else but make sense to you. Your first boyfriend was Dan. You have no idea where he is today, but you remember he drank Coors and his house number was 950. Voila! Who but you would know the significance of Dancoors950?
12. Change your passwords regularly. Four times a year is good. Yes, that does sound like a lot of work.
13. Always log out of your online bank accounts. Don't just close the window. Log out!
Hope this helps you keep your information safe.
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