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Don’t get hacked: 5 Tips For A Secure Password

Jul 6th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support

It has not been a good summer for password security. Within the last few months, LinkedIn and Twitter have had issues with leaked login information, and big names such as Mark Zuckerberg and Katy Perry have seen their accounts hacked.

While at first glance it can appear scary, these leaks can be used as a learning experience for both websites and individuals. For example, according to TechCrunch, over 120,000 accounts simply had “123456” as their password and 17,000 accounts chose only “password.” While you can’t control the security of an outside party, you CAN control the strength of your password.



Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when creating a password:

    1. Variety is your friend
      • This tip is two-fold. One, avoid using the same password for multiple sites. This way if your information is compromised hackers only have access to one account and not ALL OF THEM. Two, don’t repeat characters in a password (such as 444enter), and combine uppercase/lowercase letters with special characters, numbers, and spaces.
    2. Misspell words/leave out letters
      • If it’s not the dictionary, it will be harder to crack. So leaving vowels out of some words in a password or other misspellings may feel like betraying your English teacher but will create a more secure password (example: wldntUlike2know?)
    3. Hint list
      • It can be tempting to have a document with all your passwords saved on your computer for easy use. While this is convenient, anyone who gains access to the computer can then login to any account. If you MUST have a written list, try a password manager. But a better option is creating a document with personalized password hints only you’ll remember.
    4. Phrases versus words
      • If a long combination of letters, numbers, and characters is difficult to remember, try a phrase. You can replace certain word with numbers to get variety while achieving longer length, such as E@sy2useSE
    5. Meaningful > Random
      • It makes sense that longer is better. But still, some people would probably assume F4%sd! Is safer than Makinmagic2daymate. But length trumps randomness, and will be easier to remember anyway. However, it is important to remember the words chosen not be easy to find like names of family members or pets.

Having difficulty coming up with a password? Try Xkpasswd. It allows you to put in a desired number of modifiers to fit the requirements you need. For safety, it is best to change one of the words to assure you are the ONLY one who knows the password you decide to use.

Don’t let your information be the next to be compromised. Use these tips to keep your password memorable but safe, and update it frequently- especially on your most sensitive information such as your bank login. It might seem a hassle – but recent news have taught us it’s not worth the risk.

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