In this dangerous world of cyber crimes, organized hacking attempts and identity thefts online, passwords are often the weakest link in the attacks. Passwords are considered as the last-line of defense. If it is breached then you are vulnerable to whole range of attacks, which could be potentially damaging. Aside from your financial security being at risk, your personal and professional life might also be affected in case email, social media and other online personal accounts are hacked. Thus the stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. There are few things quite as important as choosing a strong password—at least in the area of online social security. When you create an account on a website, you may run into what experts call as the “password dilemma”; a dilemma of whether you should select a weak password that is easy to remember (and easier to crack) or a strong password that is hard to remember (and harder to hack).
Guidelines for Creating Strong Passwords:
Knowing how to use cryptographically strong passwords is often not as complex as it sounds. It just takes a set of simple rules and tips to come up with great passwords that are both easy to remember as well as difficult to crack. If you’re looking to beef up your passwords without compromising on their memorability, here are top 10 great tips.
Don’t be Up-to-Dates
Be careful not to use your birth date, anniversary dates and other significant dates for your password. This information is accessible in any online profile you have. Obviously, it is the very first option any hacker will try. On the other hand, most mobile phones like the iPhone require a simple 4-digit number to get complete access. An easy fix is to not use any number beginning with “20” or “19”. You know it makes sense.
Mix it up
More complex passwords is advisable. Using capital letters, numbers and even alphanumeric can be combined to create unbreakable codes. Many businesses, like Apple , require a mix of characters. It is not intended to create frustration by making it more difficult to remember your password but they want to ensure that your account is hack-proof.
Simple can Make Your Life Difficult
Sequences like “1234” and “abc” should be avoided. Phone manufacturers like Nokia use the former digits as default passwords for restoring factory settings because it’s easy to remember but using it for account passwords is certainly unwise.
A Password by any other Name would Smell much Sweeter
No one can ever forget their own names therefore using it as a password is ill-advised. Take my word for it. My friend learned his lesson the hard way. He uses his name as his primary password for his Facebook account. He came home so intoxicated one night and his roommate played a prank on him by writing several embarrassing replies and shout-outs and then posting it online via comments and his status message. Lesson learned.
Repetitive Strain Injury
It is indeed easier and more convenient to have the same password for everything. Unfortunately, it would make it easier for any would-be hacker to gain access to everything he can get his hands on. Ideally a unique password for every account is recommended. Keeping track of all your passwords is a hassle but it is a small price to pay in return for a reliable online protection.
Careful where you hide your password
Finally you created distinct passwords for all your accounts and made sure that they are all sufficiently obtuse to confuse even the Enigma code-breakers. Now make sure to keep your password list in a safe place.
Check your Password’s Indestructibility
There are many apps designed to rate a passwords’ reliability. Here are three of the widely used checkers online: (1) Microsoft Password Checker (2) LBW-SOFT’s Password-Review and (3) AskTheGeek’s Password Meter.
Reliable passwords usually contain at least 8 or more characters or more. Don’t be lazy it won’t take that long to type. Keep in mind: the longer the password, the longer period it takes for a hacker to decrypt your password.
Avoid using whole words. If you want shorter versions, try using acronyms, deliberately misspelling your preferred word, apply your own personal code for favorite phrases and spelling words funny.
Common sense will come in Handy
Generating a strong password is not the only way to strengthen your online security. All those previous information I shared earlier would be meaningless if you act recklessly. Here are few tips to remember before I conclude my article:
1. Make a habit of changing your passwords religiously.
2. Avoid writing down your passwords randomly.
3. Never share your access with anyone.
4. Watch out for key loggers.
5. Be careful in keying your password in public.
6. Immediately change your password once it’s compromised
7. Be careful not to check the option for “Remember Password” especially when using shared devices.
You are all set to go out in the World Wide Web. Just keep these tips in mind so you can keep you account safe. If you follow different methods or rules for creating a strong password, please share them with everybody in the comments.
About the Author: Allie Cooper is a young upcoming writer, a certified gamer known for weaving in her indelible wit into tech and game reviews, and writes about O2, tech companies, from UK and internet start-ups to bigger businesses.