How to choose a good password

Selecting a good password is not that easy – it is a trade-off between something that is too complicated to guess versus something that is easy to remember.  It is also noted that some websites set a particular standard for difficulty of passwords.  Below are a few tips to help you keep your files and emails password protected.

What Makes Up a Good Password…

Phrase – One recommendation is to select a phrase or a combination of words, these are often easier to remember and also increase the strength of your password.

Length – Good passwords should be 8 – 10 characters long as short passwords are easier for people crack. Conversely, the he longer your password, the harder it is for someone to access your information. Using a password like ‘0000’ or your first name, for example might be easy to remember, but they are commonly used and people trying to crack your password know this.

Punctuation – It is a good idea to include some sort of punctuation in your password.

Combination mix – It is better to use a combination of letters and numbers as it is then harder for people to access your information.  One way to do this and still be able to remember is to use numbers that look like letters – such as using a ‘5’ instead of an ‘S’ or a ‘0’ instead of an ‘O’.

Capitals – A combination of lower and upper case will strengthen your password.

Memorable – You can use names or places as long as they are not common such as a past street address from some time ago or name of your first pet.  However use these names in conjunction with other letters or numbers.

Passwords to avoid:-

A word from a dictionary including foreign language dictionaries

A list of letters in order of the keyboard

Using all digit, punctuation or alphabetic

Adding a digit or punctuation mark to a word

Repeating characters or letters in a row

Reversing words

The account name

Things that are easy to remember often make very weak passwords such as phone numbers, friends or relatives names, your car registration or any date.

If you need to write down your passwords in the event that you think you may forget them, put the paper somewhere safe such as a safe or a locked draw – do not store your password with any information that identifies you such as your wallet.  Do not keep the written password anywhere near your computer.

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How to choose a good password

 

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