Having a string of passwords for online accounts and computers is part of life today, and they are supposed to be the means for keeping our stuff safe. Despite this many of us use incredibly easy passwords, like the Twitter employee whose Gmail account had the password “password“! You shouldn’t be that stupid.
Much of password hacking isn’t like the movies, but either educated guess work or using programs that fling the entire dictionary at password protected things, until they happen upon the right one.
Here are two simple things you can do to improve your passwords,
1: Don’t use just a word, and don’t use something related to you that anyone might be able to find out or easily guess. So no dates, or names of loved ones! Not doing that will keep the most basic hacks away. Complicated, seemingly random passwords maybe hard to remember, but you’ll be surprised how quickly your fingers learn the routine. Create a random password, and give yourself a week to remember it!
2: For password recovery and internet banking, when a password system asks security questions make the answers as bizarre and uniquely yours as possible: What was the name of your first school? Don’t give the right answer, as that might be discoverable: What was the name of my first school? Monkey Tennis Junior. Not true, but something I will remember. If you can create a question, be as bizarre as you can be – as long as it’s something memorable for you!
Most of us will never suffer from identity theft, but these two suggestions will keep you as safe as you reasonably can be. Of course, all systems are probably hackable by someone with the right resources and persistence, but it’s difficult enough that it’s not worth doing for normal people!