Recommendations for a Secure Password
Using short, simple passwords to access your online accounts, or using the same password everywhere is a mistake that puts you at significantly higher risk of a security breach or identity theft. To increase your protection, we suggest using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
The catch is, when you create a password, you have to be able to remember it. But your larger concern should be keeping your information secure and private. Some sites have their own guidelines for how many and what characters can and cannot be used. VRam Computers suggests these guidelines to help you create a password that’s less likely to be cracked.
Change Up Your Characters
- Use at least one upper case letter
- Use at least one lower case letter
- Use at a handful of numbers
- Use symbol characters from this special set: ‘ ! @ $ % ^ & * ( ) – _ = + [ ] ; : ‘ ” , < . > / ?
- Use at least eight characters
- Try not to use repeating characters
- Don’t use spaces
Don’t Use Predictable or Dictionary Words
- Do not use a common, dictionary word—not even spelled backwards
- Don’t use your name, a relative’s name, a close friend’s name, or pet’s name, either
- Don’t use personal numbers, such as your driver’s license, license plate, social security, telephone, or birth date
- Don’t ever use the word “Password” or any iteration of the word as it would be hacked almost instantly
- It’s a good idea to change your passwords monthly. And if you must write them down, put them in a safe place and don’t include the URL
- Use a password that is at least 8 characters long, but 20 characters would be best
- Some examples of good passwords would be: Th1$isG00d!, B3nR0ck$, L3etSp3ak!
- Don’t use the above passwords! In fact don’t use any password you have seen on the internet as it is already known and no longer a secret to you
The Personal Algorithm Method
Many people use the same passwords for everything and this can be a problem. If your email gets hacked, the criminal may also gain access to your bank account if it uses the same password. But some people can’t remember random 8 character passwords for 50 different sites. To solve this quandary try creating a personal password algorithm. An algorithm is just a set of rules that can be applied the same way to different sites, and will result in a different password for each. For example, my algorithm could start with my dog’s name using some special characters (jon=j#n). I could then add the second and third letters of the website name (capitalized), and my favorite number (1337). If I was creating a password for paypal.com using this algorithm, my password would be j#nAY13gee37. Using the same set of rules, my password for Google.com, j#nOO1337.
Using a personal algorithm is one of the easiest to remember, and most secure methods. Albeit a 20 to 26 character password comprised of random characters is the most secure, it can be somewhat impractical for the average user.
Need Help Training Your Staff?
VRam Computers has comprehensive training slideshow that you can use to train your staff, we can even customize it to your company’s specific needs. Call us today for a quote or to schedule one of our security consultants to come to your company and train your staff for you.