10 Simple Tips to Protecting your Passwords

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For a very long time passwords have been used to not only prove who you are to a computer, but also to protect your information and systems from other persons. Passwords are used to log into gaming sites and online shopping sites. log into banking sites, log on to your company’s network, check your email, or protect your smartphone. There have been suggestions about passwords being outdated. and various attempts have been made to replace the password. These range from Fingerprint scanners to swiping patterns on smartphones. However, passwords have proven to be an easy and reliable method. and thus they are likely to be still used years from now. This may be one of the reasons why hackers have developed so many programs, systems, and scams to try to steal people’s passwords.

Hackers can use a variety of programs called password crackers to discover your simple passwords, often within a matter of minutes. These programs are used to try to get into your email, Facebook account, computer operating system, banking account etc. Since discovering easy passwords is so quick and easy for hackers. we need to do some simple things to make sure that if they target us they will have a very hard time and give up.

1. Never use a password which is easy for someone to guess.

Remember that the hacker may know you personally, or can quickly get your personal information from sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Even if you are careful not to post unnecessary personal information about yourself, your friends and family may inadvertently reveal sensitive information about you. Knowing that information about you can be easily had, you should avoid passwords which use your name. your dogs name, your car number. your spouse or partner`s name. your school’s name. and your cell phone number.

2. Never use a password which is a common word.

Any word which is found in the dictionary can be cracked by a hacker in a matter of seconds. No matter how long or complicated the word is, Once a dictionary knows it, it will be the easiest type of passwords to crack. Passwords such as “1 23456“ and “qwerty”. even though they are strictly speaking not words, fall into the same group.

Password Security

3.   Never make a password shorter then eight characters.

When guessing passwords, a computer takes almost no time to guess short passwords. Anything under seven characters can he guessed in an extremely short time. so it is usually recommended that we use at least eight characters.

4. Try to avoid using passwords which you use on other systems.

This is because if a hacker gets hold of your password on one system, they can then try it on all the systems which you sign into. Hackers try to break into the systems which hold lots of passwords, such as email companies, social media websites, bank websites and gaming websites. When they are successful they end up getting between thousands and millions of passwords at one time. In the past two years. the social media website LinkedIn was hacked at least twice. Sony also suffered from a massive hack as well. If you use the same password on multiple sites and hackers hack one of these sites, they automatically have your password on multiple systems.

5. This tip is very important – Never give your password to anyone, Ever!

By anyone I mean your boss or work colleague, your IT department, your bank, your software support department, or your friends and family. Hackers have discovered that any easy way to get your password is to just ask. They may call you on the phone, send you an email, or even send you a letter, but, they will never tell you that they are a hacker. Sometimes they may simply stand behind you and see you while you are typing it in. Today I received an email claiming to be from my email company, and asking me to send them my username and password. As is the case with these sorts of tricks, they suggested that doing so was necessary to prevent my service from being taken away. When you receive such emails, just drop them. No legitimate person will ever ask you for your password.

You have been given a lot of information above about what not to do to keep your password safe. You may be wondering what you should actually do to protect your password. Here are a few suggestions:

6. Always choose a password which you can remember easily.

This is so that you don’t forget it and have to get it changed, and so that signing in does not become a burden. Passwords should not make your life difficult.

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7.  Include a few upper case characters or special characters in your password.

Special characters such as ‘@’. “#”. “$’ and “&” can be used. You may even use some special characters which are not usually typed, such as those which need special keyboard combinations. Special characters not only make passwords difficult to guess for humans, but they make it hard for computers to guess them as well.

8. Use a “passphrase” to create a password, and not a word or name.

You can choose a phrase such as “I want to get lunch now”, or “T0 Kill A Mocking Bird”. You drop out the spaces, and you can shorten it by removing a few characters at the end or the front. You can also remove the vowels. Or you can drop out every other letter. Using our first
phrase. you may thus end up with something like “Iwanttogetlunchnow”, “Iwnttgtlnchnw” or ”Iatoelnho”. After you add some special characters and uppercase characters you can end up with something extremely hard to crack, such as “I@toelnh&”, “I#n%%g%lnchnw” or something along these lines. The final password produced from a passphrase would be easy to remember. even though it will look like nonsense.

9. Change your password periodically

The reason for this is that someone may have gotten hold of you password without your knowledge. There are actually many ways which persons can grab your password quietly, including hacking a system which you sign into, stealing it from your smartphone or computer by using malware, and using hacking tools to pull it “out of the air” when you are connecting wirelessly, or even hiding and peeping while you enter it. If you change it at least every three or four months then hackers may only have a limited time to try to use it. Use anti- malware to make it hard for hackers to remotely steal your password from your system.

10. Anti-virus software and anti- keylogger software are a must.

These pieces of software should stop the majority of technical attempts at stealing passwords from your computer, tablet or smartphone. In any case. it is generally not recommended that you access the internet without some sort of anti-malware installed to protect you against malicious software.

There are other techniques which you can use to create and use passwords safety, but the key points are that passwords should be easy for you to remember, they should be hard for persons to guess, and they should be complicated enough to give a computer trouble guessing them. Once you create such a password and you avoid disclosing it to anyone, you can be relatively secure when using it.

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