I was just assisting a friend in improving her password security for the Internet and decided maybe it would be worth posting for general consumption. With the growth of Internet usage for every facet of life, many people enter into this new world without giving any thought to making their passwords secure.
If you use online banking, shop with Amazon, use Hotmail or Gmail, Facebook or other social media sites, then you really need to use a secure password. Most email accounts and Facebook accounts get hacked because the person chose a simple password, such as their child’s name.
Obviously you want a password that is easy to remember and is still hard for a computer program to decipher.
Here is a simple approach and it will give you a password that you can remember and is still ranked high by security standards.
First choose a word or phrase you can remember easily. You want at least an 8 character password. The more the better, but don’t go crazy. For this example, let’s assume my phrase is “cows eat grass”.
Now lets make that phrase secure. To begin with, passwords cannot contain blanks, so lets remove them. You can change it to “cowseatgrass” or “cows_eat_grass”. Some websites will not allow special characters and for them you would need to use the first method.
Now for the first case, let’s introduce numbers and upper case letters. You might wind up with “C0w5EatGra55”. Special characters increase security and I use them. For the second example. It might look like “C0w$_Eat_Gra55”. While both are very secure, the second example is much more secure than the first.
I use the second method if the site allows special characters. I have two sites, out of about 30, that do not allow me to use special characters. For those sites I used the first method. This way I have one password to remember for all sites. I only have to remember which sites allow or don’t allow special characters.
I keep a list of all websites that I use that require passwords in the event that I ever have a problem. It is not a bad idea to change your passwords at least twice a year. Some recommend more often.
If you are going to play in the Internet sandbox you should remember to use protection. Another security area you might want to check into is VPN, especially if you use a lot of WiFi sites. I have written that up before HERE. I use WiTopia.