Your password is your first line of defense against hackers and safe online transactions. Many of us don’t necessarily worry about passwords, we believe passwords are just our access keys to our online accounts, but forgot that it could as well be someone else’s access key to our online accounts as well. A strong and secure password doesn’t necessarily mean a long password but a carefully designed one that will be difficult to be hacked. So today I want to share with you some important tips to creating strong passwords.
Most known password crackers/hackers follow some simply rules and I am going to teach you a way to make life very difficult for such programs. All known password crackers follow the dictionary rules, trying dictionary words and figures, so creating a strong and secure password will involve carefully constructed logic that cannot match any known word in the dictionary in any language.
Creating Strong Passwords:
In creating strong passwords, some factors need to be considered. Such factors include length of the password, its complexity, variation and variety among others.
Length of Password: What numbers of characters are best for a password? Most online registration forms recommend a minimum of 6 characters but I am recommending 8 characters because the extra 2 characters will add millions of permutation possibilities for any program to crack.
Complexity of the Password: Always ensure to combine letters, punctuations, symbols and numbers in your password combination. Combine upper cases and lower cases in your password combinations. The more complex your password the more difficult it will be for any password hacking program to crack. Which do you think is more complex between “Dressage” and “Dr3sS^g3”?
Variation of the password: Always change your passwords from time to time, this is a safe password practice every internet user should follow.
Variety of passwords: Never use the same password for two different accounts or all your accounts. If someone steals a password to one of your accounts, it will be easy to think that such person could try same username and password on your other accounts, so to prevent this NEVER use same password on two accounts or all your accounts.
Do not share your passwords: For no reason should you share your passwords with anyone, even if it’s someone you trust. They could be careless about it and it could fall into a wrong hand and your account will be compromised.
Do not write down your passwords: Never write down your passwords, some people I know store their passwords in their computers, or write it down and stick it on their PC, this is a wrong password practice. Your passwords should be in your head alone, that way it remains safe. But you can use password management tools to save your passwords provided the master password is only in your head, such programs are always encrypted, so even if you lose your laptop they theif cannot be able to access such program.
Do not use personal information: Do not use your birthdays, names, pet’s name or anything that could be easy to guess as a password. Make your password difficult to guess.
Do not use sequences: repeated characters are easy to guess, so avoid using passwords like 123456, 555555, qwerty etc.
Always Logout: Whenever you use a PC that is not your own remember to always log out, and immediately change your password once you get on your own PC.
Check for keyloggers: Always check for keyloggers in any PC before you enter your passwords on them. Someone may install a keylogger on your PC to monitor your keyboard activities and remotely send them your personal information like passwords and credit card details. Check the task manager for programs you don’t recognize and end their processes. Use ‘Add or Remove New Programs’ under control panel to uninstall any application you do not remember installing by yourself.
Use an effective antivirus: Ensure to use an effective antivirus program in your PC and always update it. Make sure it is always up-to-date.
How to test Password strength:
After creating your password it is important you test its strength. I use Passwordmeter to test the strength of my passwords. Passwordmeter will give you the percentage score of your password and from this you can know if it is strong or weak before you use it.
Must Read: How to recover forgotten Windows password using Ophcrack LiveCD
Now i hope you can be able to use the instructions listed here in creating strong passwords for your online accounts. If you find this post interesting share it with your friends. Remember to subscribe to my RSS feeds if you will like to receive posts like this one in your email. Share your view about creating strong passwords with me using the comment form below.
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