Good Passwords

Choosing a good password

Photo by Dev.Arka on flickr

In recent news, many prominent companies, such as eBay Inc. and Adobe Inc., have reported user accounts being hacked, requiring customers to change their passwords. In most cases, personal data was compromised. In some instances, such as with Adobe, financial information was also stolen. People with Yahoo or AOL accounts often find their email accounts hacked, but due to more sophisticated techniques used by current computer hackers, users must now fear that any website and user information may be compromised.
How can you protect yourself? Create a good password.
Tips for Creating a Secure Password
In some cases, you won’t be able to prevent hackers from accessing your information if they breach a company’s firewall and get access to client databases; but you can ensure it will be much harder for them to hack into your personal account via password if you create a password that is extra secure.
Here are some tips for creating a secure or “strong” password:
  1. Do not use any personal information in your password that can be guessed. Examples: your name, company name (yours or theirs), birth year, your maiden name. Ideally, you don’t want to use any recognizable word in your password. Birth years are easy to hack because they can be easily guessed (e.g., 1960, 1984, etc.).
  1. Create a password with at least six (6) characters. Some companies are now requiring eight characters because the longer a password, the more secure it is.
  1. Create a password from a phrase that you can remember. Example: “I love my dog Spot very much” .becomes: IlmdSvm.
  1. Spell out a word but replace some of the characters with numbers or symbols. Example: R0llerc0@ster.
  1. Remove some letters from words. Example: Tmbktu from “Timbuktu”.
  1. Misspell words. Example: MustengCarr.
  1. Use long words. Example: Automysophobia (fear of getting dirty).
  1. Use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols (!@#$%^*-_+=). This will create the strongest password. It may be harder to remember, but a combination password is harder to hack.
9. Use multiple passwords for all your accounts. Do not use one password for all websites, especially when there is financial information at risk. For instance, if someone acquires the password for your eBay account, would they also be able to access your PayPal account? Additionally, if a hacker has your email address, they can log into that account and reset passwords for your other accounts?
By following the above tips and examples, you should be able to create secure passwords to better protect your accounts. Also, NEVER give out your password to ANYONE, not even the company your account is with. Your password is for your eyes only and to make sure your private information remains confidential.