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Tips From cat.man.du For Creating The Safest Password

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 10:55 -- Rachel Cunningham

We can't stress the importance of a good strong password enough. It could be the difference between your computer being hacked and your information getting stolen or your files staying safe.  Here are a few tips on how to create the perfect front line defense, your password.

  • Create a different password for each of your accounts.
  • Be sure no one is watching you while entering your password.
  • Always log off if you leave your device in public, it only takes a moment for someone to steal or change the password.
  • Use comprehensive security software and keep it up to date to avoid hacking and malware.
  • Avoid entering passwords on computers you don’t control (like computers at a café or library), they may have malware that steals your passwords.
  • Avoid entering passwords when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections (like at the airport or coffee shop) because hackers can intercept your passwords and data over this unsecured connection.
  • Don’t tell anyone your password. Your trusted friend now might not be your friend in the future. Keep your passwords safe by keeping them to yourself.
  • Depending on the sensitivity of the information being protected, you should change your passwords regularly, and avoid reusing a password for at least one year.
  • Do use at least eight characters of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your password. Remember, the more the merrier.
  • Strong passwords are easy to remember but hard to guess. Iam:)2b33! — This has 10 characters and says “I am happy to be 33!” No one is going to think of that.
  • Use the keyboard as a palette to create shapes. %tgbHU8*- Follow that on the keyboard. It’s a V. The letter V starting with any of the top keys. To change these periodically, you can slide them across the keyboard. Make a diamond if you are feeling feisty.
  • Have fun with known short codes or sentences or phrases. L8rAllig8r —This one says “Later Alligator”
  • It’s okay to write down your passwords, just keep them away from your computer and mixed in with other numbers and letters so it’s not apparent that it’s a password.
  • You can also write a “cheat sheet” which will give you a clue to remember your password, but doesn’t actually contain your password on it. So, in the example above, your “cheat sheet” might read “After a while, crocodile.”
  • Check your password strength. If the site you are signing up for offers a password strength analyzer, pay attention to it and heed its advice.

Hacker attack methods can be slowed down significantly or even defeated through the use of strong passwords. Therefore, whenever possible, you should use strong passwords for all of your computer accounts.

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