Keep your passwords safe
I’m not sure why it is, but every few months, I seem to hear another story about the lack of password security. Passwords are important! They literally hold the key to your email, your bank account and basically any type of account you may have online.
Numerous lists of “most common passwords”
exist but they all have something in common – really dumb passwords! Using 1234 or abcd is NOT the right way to protect your assets. Neither is using your name, your spouse’s name or your date of birth.
And that’s the point. If you are lazy or ignorant and you make a silly password, you take the risk of costing yourself time and money later on. You make lose access to your bank account for a few days. You might have to spend a few hours on hold with customer service while they reset your World of Warcraft account. Worse, someone might go through your email and find sensitive information.
It’s not hard to make a good password. Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose a non-dictionary word. So don’t use “frog” or “happy” or anything like that. Use a non-sense word that you can remember but is not a common dictionary word. I like to choose words from other languages or uncommon Latin names for plants and animals.
- Use both uppercase and lowercase letters. Do not simply capitalize the first letter of your word – that’s the first place people look! A good technique is to choose a location that makes sense verbally but would be difficult to determine analytically. For example, the perhaps you use uppercase on the letter after the first syllable or at the last vowel.
- Insert a number. And do not simply add a “1” at the end of your password – again, that’s the first thing that people would try! You could try replacing letters with similar looking numbers or use a complicated, but memorable number somewhere in your password.
Finally, using a password manager such as LastPass
will help you remember all these complicated passwords and make your online browsing life much simpler!
What techniques do you use to keep your password safe? Have you ever had to spend time to resolve a lost or stolen password issue?