Yes this might be a bit on the paranoid side, but it’s all good information to take into account when trying to figure out a good password. Take all or some of it to mind when using your passwords online.
- A password should be easy for you to remember and difficult for others to guess
- Use different passwords for different services
- The password should be as long as possible
- Change your password regularly, or if you think it’s the wrong hands
- “Morning, my name is Josh” is easy to remember, too long to be broken, and difficult to guess.
- “I log on to Facebook” and “I log on to my Computer” are both long passwords, which are different for different services.
- “1th0s&l” looks like a tricky passwords to remember. However, the password is the first letter of each word in the song stanza “In the house of Stone and Light” with a few numbers replacing letters.
Some services have rules that you limit your password. You might be required to have a minimum length, including numbers or special characters, or include uppercase letters.
Why are passwords important
User ID and password gives you access to specific services or programs. If someone has your password, they are, for all intents and purposes you online.
Programs designed to crack passwords is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Simple passwords no longer are safe as they are easily cracked. In addition in this socially connected world, any information you share can be used to help figure out your password. Using the name of your cat, birthday, child, hometown that you grew up in, are all readily accessible. This means anything that is searchable can be plugged in to figure out a password. Even just share your password with a few others can be dangerous. Remember how daily gossip can spread… passwords are that far off either.
Protecting your passwords
- Passwords should be secret – Try to never give your password or pin code to anyone. Not to family members, colleagues, or any company. It’s much too easy for the information to be used incorrectly, even by accident.
- Anything written down can be found – Once you’ve chosen a good password is the next step to protect it. Having post it notes, emails, or documents with your passwords adds another layer that people can find out your passwords.
- Don’t let your programs enter in passwords for you – Many programs offer to remember your password the next time you login. Unfortunately, this means anyone with access to your computer, has access to those services (like email, banking, etc). You may think that since it’s your personal computer it’s safe, but remember you may lose, or worse have it stolen, from you. And of course, never choose it to remember passwords on a public computer.
- Log out and close the windows – This is a bit more critical for public computers, but the same can be said for your person one too… Log out of programs that require passwords when you leave the computer. An open window or program means an active connection. You wouldn’t leave your house with the door wide open when you go to the store. Why would you do the same with your computer?