Dec 112009

Your password is a critical part of keeping your information secure. Following these tips can help you create a stronger password — one that’s more difficult to guess.

1. Complexity is key. You can make your password more complex by making it longer (at least eight characters), as well as using a mix of characters as described below.

2. Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. You may also use one or more of the following characters: _-’.,@:?!()$\/.

3. Use passwords that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for anyone else to guess. Personal information such as your birthdate, address, or child’s name can easily be discovered by anyone who knows you or has access to your wallet.

4. Avoid using words that can be found in the dictionary.

5. Try using the underscore to create a “passphrase” — a password made up of several words, such as “My_cat_Fluffy_is_2_years_old.”

6. Or, think of a phrase you like and convert it to a password by using the first letter of each word (as well as numbers) and mixing upper- and lower-case. In the case of the above example, your password could be “McFi2YO.”

7. Use different passwords for different systems. That way, if one becomes compromised, the others remain secure.

8. Change your password periodically. Security sites recommend your password be changed every 30-60 days.

A good password generator can be found here.

Remember, the computers currently available can crack a 8 character password within several hours using a dictionary attack. Tomorrows computer will be quicker than that… Just a heads up.

 Posted by at 2:19 am