The invention of the Internet has caused all of us to create personal passwords for our online accounts. But regular passwords leave our personal information vulnerable to hackers and criminals.
The best safeguard for our valuable online accounts is using complex passwords. Your personal information can be instantly more secure online if you follow these simple guidelines. Don’t become another victim of a hacker.
Technology is a part of every aspect of our lives. We use technology for more than just accessing information. We use it for banking, bill paying, filing personal forms and sending information via email. In order to use technology we rely on passwords to protect our identities and bank accounts. One simple “password” is all that is standing in the way of a potentially huge headache if it was cracked by a hacker exposing our most personal information.
Complex passwords make the cracking of your personal data by a hacker far more difficult and everyone who has even one online account must have them. A complex password is critical to online security. A complex password is different from a regular password in that it makes full access of all keyboard numbers, symbols and letters. A complex password is a strong password that is much more secure.
Creating Strong Complex Passwords
- Think of a sentence like:” My brown dog Ralph has 7 fleas.” Then the password could be MbdRh7f. This is a strong complex password and it won’t be as hard to remember since it is connected to a sentence.
- Intermix capital letters with numbers.
- Avoid your name or screen name in the password.
- Always use numbers, symbols, upper and lowercase letters in passwords.
- The length of the password should be from 12-14 letters. The more symbols the higher the security strength.
- Do not use passwords that are dictionary words, numbers or letter sequences, or names and dates.
- Using a wordlist with a number: “jet2008”, “forest1234” etc.
- Using words such as: “password”, “computer”, “admin” etc.
- Using identifying words like “tomsmith1234” or phone numbers.
- Using sequencing letters or numbers on the keyboard: “asdfg1234” etc.
- Using double words: “spiderspider, antant, dogdog” etc.
- Using words with simple changes: “d0g”, “11ikeit” etc.
- Using dictionary words like “camouflage”, “habitat,” “oyster” etc.
- Using different passwords in each situation. This way if a criminal cracks your password they don”t have all your information on every account of which you subscribe.
- Do not use shared computers to access your accounts. These include computers that are open to the public at internet cafes, kiosks and libraries.
- Laptop computers may be less secure as you use them in different places, so make sure your laptop has strong passwords.
- A weak password is better than no password but still not a good idea. It might deter a criminal for a few minutes, but not for too long.
- Remember do not incorporate clever patterns into your passwords even though they are easy for you to remember. If they are easy for you to remember, they will be easy for someone to figure out.
Password protection is very important. Most security experts agree that you should never write down your password and keep the information in an easily accessible area. If you must write down your passwords then store the information it in a very safe place with your other valuables.
Another idea is to develop a code that will jar your memory so you can remember the password. This way the password in code won’t make any sense to anyone but you. Also don’t store your passwords online or reveal them to others through email requests or by telephone.
Always keep your passwords secret and change them ever 90-120 days. Always keep track of your banking accounts and monitor them regularly for changes you did not make.
Passwords are only as effective as the humans that create them. Even the best technology and Internet security is vulnerable to human error. So don’t go online without your complex passwords!