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How to Setting Up a Strong Password

A password is a secret word or string of characters that is used for authentication, to prove identity or gain access to a resource (example: an access code is a type of password). The password should be kept secret from those not allowed access. And a password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is really that particular user.



Change Passwords Regularly


First things first! And I literally mean it. We read about cyber crimes practically every day, yet most of you continue to use the same old passwords for ages. If you are one of them, then take a break from reading my article and change your old passwords on priority. Whenever I say this, I usually get responses like ‘Changing passwords is tedious!’ or ‘My password is safe and secure in my mind!’. Trust me, creating new passwords every now and then is not a very mind-boggling task. The hacking software used by cyber criminals can crack down some of the most unexpected passwords. So smarten up your online user IDs by changing your passwords every three months for your e-mail accounts or social networking sites, and once a month for your online banking logins. If you are forgetful, set up online reminders for a password change.

Password Length


Experts suggest the ideal length of passwords to be eight characters or more. Some of us feel that a smaller password is easy to recollect. However, smaller passwords are easier to hack as they require lesser permutations and combinations of characters.

Combination Passwords


The strongest and most secure passwords are those which have a unique combination of alphabets, numerals, special characters and symbols. Most of us have a tendency to make passwords that are either completely alphabetic or numeric. Such passwords are easier to track and therefore, spell danger for your online privacy and security.

Variety


A few of us have a tendency to choose a single, easy-to-remember password and use it for every kind of personal login, viz., online banking, email accounts, shopping websites. If a hacker is smart and lucky enough to get hold of your password on one of the sites, he may use the opportunity to try your login name and password on other sites as well. In this case, it is best to create a separate password for each and every login ID that you may possess.

Fresh Passwords


Creating and memorizing passwords can be difficult for some people. So they create a set of five to six passwords for their email accounts or online banking. These passwords are generally used by them in rotation. However, I suggest my readers to create fresh passwords for logins. When I suggest usage of fresh passwords, I mean to say that passwords when used once, should not be repeated for a particular login.

Good criteria when choosing a password or setting up password guidelines include the following
Don’t pick a password that someone can easily guess if they know who you are (for example, not your Social Security number, birthday, or maiden name)

  1. Don’t pick a word that can be found in the dictionary (since there are programs that can rapidly try every word in the dictionary!)
  2. Don’t pick a word that is currently newsworthy
  3. Don’t pick a password that is similar to your previous password
  4. Do pick a mixture of letters and at least one number
  5. Do pick a word that you can easily remember
  6. Avoid creating passwords from your first and last names. Similarly, avoid passwords by writing your first and last names in reverse. Do not use your pet names for passwords.
  7. Keep away from names of your family members, native town or birth date. Such passwords can be really obvious to the hacker.
  8. It is suggested that you should avoid creating passwords that sound very similar to your login IDs.
  9. Using your passport number, social security number or driver’s license number for creating passwords is not recommended either.
  10. People make a common mistake of creating passwords with numbers or alphabets in a particular sequence. e.g., 123456 or abc123. This should be completely avoided.
  11. It seems easy to create passwords with alphabets that lie in a sequence on a standard computer keyboard. e.g., asdfgh, xcvbnm. However, such passwords are easy to crack and should be avoided at all costs.
  12. Stay away from inventing passwords with actual dictionary words from any particular language.
  13. When creating passwords with alphabets, avoid creation of passwords from a single type of case. e.g., ABC or abc. Instead, ensure to make random usage of both upper as well as lower case.
  14. There is a list of passwords that users are bound to use along with their login IDs. These passwords should be avoided by Internet users at all costs.