How To Choose And Protect Your Passwords

by WebWriter

Protect yourself from hackers and identity thieves. How to choose and protect your passwords.

Passwords

What is a Password?

A password is a secret word, phrase, or series of number that is used to gain access to information. An ATM machine, for example, requires you to enter a password to gain access to your bank information. In computer science, a password is a series of characters (numbers or letters) that you need to enter in order to gain access to a file, application, or computer. 

Protecting Your Password

  • You should always take careful measures to protect your passwords. Never share your passwords with other people. Don't let anyone see you enter your password on your computer. If you need to enter your password and someone is at the computer with you, ask them for privacy, or to turn their head, so you can enter your password. This may sound extreme, but take it from someone (Me) who didn't do that and had a friend (ex friend now) access my e-mail and other information. It does happen, so trust no one with your passwords. 
  • Change your passwords often. You should use a different variation of your original password about every two month. 
  • Don't use the same passwords for multiple accounts.  

Choosing Your Password

  1. Always choose a strong password. 12345678 is not a strong password. wo27kPD5 is a strong password. Yes, it is harder to remember a strong password, but it provides you with more protection. 
  2. Never use your username as your password. Over 40% off all password guessing attempts are by entering the username. So if your username is Bob101, you should not use bob101 as your password. If you do, you run a high risk of someone accessing your information. 

Passwords You Should Never Use:

  • Your user name
  • Your user name followed by 123
  • 123456
  • password
  • test

Strong Passwords

  • Password should be at least 6 characters or longer.
  • Passwords should have upper and lower case letters.
  • Passwords should have a mix of letters and numbers.
  • Passwords should not be based on any word in the dictionary.
  • Passwords should not contain any of personal information, such as birth date, numbers in social security, the city you live in, or any part of your name. 

Examples Of Strong Passwords

  • kT4p2r
  • 8Yr3Xo
  • R5Fc8a

Storing Passwords

It's tempting to choose a week or recycled password because it's easier to remember it. While it may be convennient for you to pick an easy password or use one of your old ones, it's not going to be as convenient for you to fix a hacking or identity theft issue if someone gains access to your password. If you are like me, you have a bunch accounts that require passwords. At times it can be difficult to remember them all. One thing I did was purchase a password organizer book from Amazon (see product below). I write down and store all my passwords in it. Now, wouldn't it be terrible if my password book fell into the wrong hands an someone had a book filled with all my passwords? So what I do is write all my passwords in code in this book. Instead of writing the exact password, I go up a number and down a letter. If my password is 158dek, I write it in the book as 269cdj. The password book has made a huge difference in helping me to remember my many passwords.

How many accounts do you have that require a password

Password Organizers

For storing all your passwords.
Internet Password Organizer

The experts agree, creating a unique, difficult to guess, strong password and then writing it down and storing it in a secure place is the best way to protect your accounts ...

Innovention Lab Inc.
Only $19.99
The Personal Internet Address & Password Log Book

Are you tired of losing track of those login/usernames and passwords you create every time you visit a new Web site? Do you have sticky notes and scraps of paper scattered ...

Peter Pauper Press
$7.95  $3.49
Bob's Your Uncle Open Sesame Password Reminder Book (PP25)

"Bob's Your Uncle" is a British expression used to indicate that a given task is very simple. Possibly inspired by Victorian Prime Minister, Robert Cecil who appointed his ...

Bob's Your Uncle (OS)
$14.00  $10.90
Updated: 06/06/2011, WebWriter
 
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spirituality on 06/18/2011

At present my file with passwords (yes, it's password protected) contains 248 passwords. I've left out the ones to my bank and stuff...

Bcarter on 06/06/2011

I love making up strong passwords. It's a challenge for me. I do have to admit that I commit some of the mistakes you mentioned in you page though. I'll have to work on that, as difficult as it is.
B

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