If you are using a single password for all your online accounts, this is VERY DANGEROUS because if a hacker gets into one account, he can easily get into all. More so, if you are using WEAK PASSWORDS, it makes it easier for hackers to hack your passwords. Weak passwords have been the main
causes of numerous cases of identity theft, malfunctioning of accounts and other negative occurrences.
You might want to argue with me that you have nothing to hide and do not care if someone breaks into your account but I want to let you know that the dangers sometimes is not what you have in the account but what the person who has unauthorized access to your account will do to or with your account.
So, How Do I Make A Strong Password?
In today's online world, having a strong password is a must. However, the problem with strong passwords is that they can be difficult to remember. Altering the passwords you currently use by
adding a meaningful symbol is one step toward making them difficult for Internet thieves to crack.
Below is a list of things you can add or do to increase the strength of your passwords:
1. NEVER USE WORDS,NUMBERS,NAMES AND ANYTHING CONNECTED TO YOU
A lot of people have actually heard this warning but a few have heeded to it. It is shocking that a few people still use their names, nicknames, name of a girlfriend/boyfriend, father/mother, or people close to them as passwords to their accounts.This is a very weak password and can be easily guessed by a hacker or people around you.
Other popular weak passwords include using your date of birth, matric/registration number of any
kind in any school or institution, name of best friend, name of wife/husband and any other thing easily connected to you. All these passwords are the first guesses any intelligent hacker will
try on your account.
So as a rule, never use any of them as a password.
2. NEVER USE DEFAULT PASSWORDS
There are some websites which automatically generate passwords for you. Such passwords are called DEFAULT PASSWORDS. These type of passwords are commonly generated for users who request for PASSWORD RESET after he or she might have forgotten his/her password.
As a rule, once such password is generated for you, TRY AND CHANGE THE PASSWORD AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. This sounds obvious but a lot of people continue to use these assigned passwords. There are a multitude of reasons why this isn't safe; I am sure you can guess many of them.
3. INCREASE THE LENGTH OF YOUR PASSWORD
The longer your password, the more difficult it will be for an hacker to guess.
4. NEVER USE LETTERS OR NUMBERS IN A SEQUENCE
Don't ever use letters or numbers in a sequence; such as 567 or EFG. Using letters or numbers in a sequence will make it easier for hackers to guess your password.
5.MIX NUMBERS AND LETTERS
Mix numbers and letters together to make more unbreakable type passwords. if you want to use your name or anything connected to you as a password, it will do you more good of you can just mix it with numbers and letters.
6. DON'T USE COMMON WORDS
Using real words eg internet, web, book, etc is NOT safe. More so, it is not safe to use words or slangs that are in vogue. There are some hacking softwares out there been used by hackers to generate passwords from such common words. So, Be Careful.
7. USE SENTENCES
Instead of thinking of a word or a name or a date, think instead in terms of a sentence that would be easy to remember e.g Jideistheownerofogbongeblog
8. USE LOWER AND UPPER CASE
Most passwords are CASE SENSITIVE, hence you can secure your passwords by mixing lower and upper cases together.Just make sure you capitalize letters that will be easy for you to remember. For example,I can change the sentence above to: JideIsTheOwnerOfOgbongeblog
I hope you can ses how I capitalized some letters in the sentence.
9. ADD SYMBOLS
You can make use of symbols to strengthen your passwords. e.g @,&,$,# etc If you are using your name of anything connected to you as your password, it will do you more good if you can just add some symbols.
10. BE CAREFUL WHEN WRITING YOUR PASSWORD DOWN SOMEWHERE
If you have many passwords, then, I bet it will be better if you write them down in a secured place. For example, If you don't write your new YahooMail password down and you forget it,then all the time you spent creating your unbreakable password has been wasted plus you will not be able to login into your YahooMail.
While writing it down, PLEASE, BE CAREFUL. It is shocking to be seeing some people writing their full email address in their address book or diary and also writing the password beside it. THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS. Anyone that somehow gets a hold of such address book or diary might hack your account.
While writing it down, you can just shorten the password. Lets say your password for email@example.com is Facebook2010 While writing down the password, you can just write F..k2010 Whenever you need it, I expect you to be able to know what it means. An hacker will find it difficult to decode what it means.
If you have many accounts, you can be using the same password BUT WITH SOME LITTLE DIFFERENCES. You can add a few more words, numbers, letters or symbols to separate each account.For example, you can add the name of the website to the password of the account. If your strong password is
JideIsTheOwnerOfOgbongeblog,you can add Facebook to it for your Facebook account and add Twitter to it for your Twitter account. I hope you can grab the gist.
If you put ALL the tips above in consideration while creating or changing your passwords,you stand an excellent chance of Never being Hacked. If the tips seem like too much work for you, then you may decide to apply them only to your very important accounts like your online bank account passwords and other online financial accounts passwords.
The truth is, just adding a dot and number to your present password will make it stronger but using all the points above will give it maximum strength.
ALWAYS REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST.
If you have other tips to share, have questions to ask or just want to appreciate this piece of information, kindly make use of the comment form below this article, on my blog.
Well, I just launched my new website and have 20 free eBooks am giving out free of charge, get yours now at http://ebooks.jideweb.com
In my future posts, I will be writing about more security tips and other great tutorials.
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Written By Jide Ogunsanya on May 18, 2010
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