Most people these days will have a selection of online accounts and memberships. Each normally requires for you to choose a password in order to register and subsequently log in.
Remembering a lot of different passwords can be a nightmare, but it is important to choose your password carefully – after all, it’s your online identity that’s at stake. If someone guesses or gains access to your password – they will appear to be you to other Internet users.
Here are some tips to help you choose a password that’s strong (hard to guess) but also easy to remember:
- Use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols.Using a password like “password” is easy to guess, but one like “P4s5wOrd” is harder. Mixing upper and lower case letters helps as most passwords are CaSe SeNsItIvE. Adding characters like !”£$%^&*()# also helps greatly as a lot of password crackers will just try normal dictionary words.
- Don’t use the same password for each website.You may have the hardest to guess password in the world – but can you really be sure of the security behind the website you are using the password? If you use the same password for your online banking as your local online darts team’s website and that site gets hacked, the hacker may also try your email address/username/password combination on other websites. You can use the same basic website, but try to vary it for each login. For example – if you use Ytt6da as your base password, then maybe use Ytt6daGM for your GMail account, Ytt6daAZ for your Amazon account etc. It’s best to use completely different passwords, but you have to have a trade off to make it easy for you to remember.
- Choosing a strong password needn’t be difficult.Pick a phrase that means something to you like “Strong passwords are easy to choose”. No take the first letter from each word: spaetc. Next capitalise a couple of letters: sPaeTc, add a number and a special character and you have your strong password – s#PaeTc6. to recall it, you just need to remember “strong hash Passwords are easy To choose 6”.
- Never tell anyone your password.You wouldn’t give anyone else your bank PIN number, would you? Don’t share your password either. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it rarely is in the long run.
- Don’t choose “personal” words.If you choose to ignore the advice i have given you so far, don’t ever choose what I class as “personal” words. Using the name of your partner, street name or cat means that anyone who knows you will be able to guess your password without much effort. Even if a site asks for your Mothers maiden name, for example, make one up and remember what you used.
Using these simple tips should help you stay safer and to protect your online accounts.