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Internet Security Basics – Passwords

January 30, 2013

strong and secure password

The importance of passwords

Passwords are used to prove identity for access to secure online services. Effective passwords provide safer Internet communication and online presence. Strong passwords for “formal” or “main” accounts are a must. To thoroughly understand what a good password is and how to create a secure one, read the article focused on creating strong passwords, although some of the basics are touched on in this piece.

Many people think they should create long and complicated passwords to protect their data and personal information. There is truth in this advice. A perfect password would be long and contain many special symbols. However, remembering the characters in such an ideal password could be a problem. This is the reason why people tend to create short and easy to remember ones.

Definitely, a strong password needs to be resistant against breaking, easy to remember and of reasonable length. Knowing it protects your secret or personal information is all the more reason to create your passwords carefully.

How to create passwords

Some techniques you might want to use when creating a password include:

  • Inventing a group of nine random characters, containing small and capitalized letters, numbers and special symbols. Just remember their order.
  • Use a password generator. It creates the character group for you. One example is Strong Password Generator©.
  • Use any mnemonic technique. This is a very common way to help you remember your password and can be helpful if you substitute letters with special characters.

Passwords you should avoid

  • Names – This is a common mistake. You should never use your name or the name of any other family member as a password because it is very easy to break.
  • Hobbies, birth date, etc. – Information like this is quite tricky. The people that know you may reveal passwords related to your life.
  • Dictionary words – Do not use simple subject words, such as dog, cat, tree, table, mouse, etc. Programs created for breaking passwords usually try all the words from the dictionary that they have in their database.
  • Strings with basic sequence – These are the easiest to remember and the easiest to break. Do not use strings, like “qwert”, “123456”, “abcd”, etc.

Examples of strong and weak passwords

John Smith has the email address johnsmith@inbox.com.

A weak password would be – “John”, “Smith” or “johnsmith”.
A strong password would be – “jOHNs6598” or “j1o2h3n4S5m6i7t8h”.

Personal Password Hygiene

You may consider Personal Password Hygiene quite funny, but in fact, it is a very important part in keeping your password safe. Keys in taking care of your password include:

-          Do not share your password with anyone.

-          From time to time, change the password as a preventative measure.

-          Be careful about using your password on a public or another person’s computer.

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