0What Makes A Strong Password?

Posted by Guest at 7/03/2012 Posted in:

This is a guest post by Dane Thompson.

What Makes a Strong PasswordIn order to protect your financial information, emails and other data, you need to choose an appropriately strong password. Unfortunately, many computer users do not understand the tools that hackers have at their disposal and end up choosing simple, easy-to-remember passwords that don't provide sufficient protection.

A strong password should have:
  1. A variety of letters, numbers and symbols: Malicious computer users can use a variety of programs to quickly check hundreds of thousands of potential character combinations. They can check every word in the dictionary and thousands of obvious amalgamations of those words in a matter of seconds, so you should choose a password that uses as many different types of characters as possible.

    Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to create a strong password. Note that some password systems do not allow certain symbols.
  2. No personal information or dates: Adding your birth date to the end of a word doesn't create a secure password. Hackers will try password combinations that use personal information first, so keep things random and avoid choosing numbers or words that malicious computer users might guess easily.
  3. From 8-12 characters total: Longer passwords are harder for computerized systems to guess. If your password is from 8-12 characters long and relatively random, hackers won't be able to use blunt-force tools to figure it out.
Additionally, you should create a different password for each website, network or program that you use. At the very minimum, you need to have separate, secure passwords for casual websites and websites that store your financial data. Some hackers use remarkably simple techniques to steal passwords such as standing over your shoulder while you check your email in a coffee shop, but by paying attention to your surroundings and using a variety of passwords for different types of websites, you can stay safe and protect your information.

About the author:

Dane Thompson is a tech writer who recommends using a password generator to create strong passwords.
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