If we’re being honest here, most of us live at the extreme ends of the password creation pole.
We either give the construction of effective passwords no thought at all, or we get stuck using the same predictable password on multiple sites and accounts.
There are some basic rules for the effective assembly and storage of passwords that can deter intruders from gaining access to your private data. Although there are many companies who offer this kind of password generation for a fee, I thought I’d share a few ways you can do it without opening your wallet.
1. Avoid common words that can be found in the dictionary. Your passwords should be cryptic, uncommon and unique. (See the 10 most commonly used passwords below.)
2. Don’t write passwords down and store them in a conspicuous place. If you must write them down, hide them from family, friends and co-workers. Just sayin’….
3. Passwords should contain: small caps, LARGE CAPS, numbers and symbols like: ncPR327#?@. This makes it unlikely that an amateur or even professional hacker can crack your code.
4. The combination of complexity and length enhances protection. Using 9 or more characters ensures that a computer-aided crook would need 30 years or more to hack your password.
5. Use a reliable password checker to ensure that yours is as strong as it can be! Check out https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx
The 10 most commonly used passwords are: Internet, Computer, Football, Whatever, Star Wars, ILoveYou, Superman, LetMeIn, 111111, and finally…believe it or not….”Password”.
Every six months, you need to re-create your passwords for ultimate protection from hackin’….now get crackin’!
Dale Penn is a professional speaker, trainer and privacy / identity expert. He is the author of the award-winning book, Identity Theft Secrets: Exposing The Tricks Of The Trade. Follow him on Twitter @DalePenn