5 Things to Remember When Creating a Password
With the digital age upon us, access to the electronic data that surrounds our everyday lives is controlled by passwords. Because hackers have developed a whole range of tools to get to your personal data, the only thing standing in between the bad guys and you is the password that you use. What many have learned the hard way is that passwords are only as good as you create them to be. Most people have one or two passwords that they use over and over so that they won’t be easily forgotten. But if one of those passwords is cracked, it’s fairly simple for someone with ill intentions to compromise everything else and gain control of your life. Developing strong passwords will allow you to have safer online transactions and electronic storage. There are numerous ways to create a robust password. The following are five things to remember:
1) DEVELOP AN ACRONYM. Though an acronym may be harder to remember than a familiar word like your favorite football team or dog’s name, it will prove harder to crack. Use an acronym that means something to you and can be easily remembered. Avoid using personal information like your name.
2) USE AT LEAST 12 CHARACTERS. No matter how complex you think your password may be, the more characters you have, the safer your data will be. Make sure that there are no spaces.
3) MAKE SURE THE ACRONYM CONTAINS BOTH UPPER CASE AND LOWER CASE LETTERS. Even though it may be harder to remember, a greater variety of upper case and lower case letters will add to the complexity of your passphrase.
4) ADD PUNCTUATION MARKS AND NUMBERS. Use your entire keyboard rather than just the letters and characters that are more frequently used. Meaningful numbers will be easier for you to remember, but don’t use any number sequences like 12345678.
5) TRY A PASSWORD STRENGTH TESTER. Microsoft’s Safety and Security Center will check your password to demonstrate how strong it is.
Use a password generator if all else fails. There is an excellent password generator built into Mac systems with OS X. The easiest way to remember your password is to write it down. If you are unorganized or lose things easily, download the 1Password application on your iPhone. 1Password allows you to store all of your web usernames and passwords in one secure location.