Yes, it’s me again still ranting on about password security.
Passwords are a necessary evil today, with the advent of hackers and thieves who would want to use your information to steal money or even your identity. Identify theft is on the rise and is a constant problem that everyone has to work hard to combat.
So, what makes a strong password?
* Uses Letters, Numbers and Symbols – A combination of letters, numbers and symbols is an important way to make a password strong and hard to break by a would-be hacker. If a system doesn’t allow you to do this, write to them and request them to upgrade their system.
* Is Long – Many people use short passwords because they’re easier to remember. However, if a password is easy for you to remember, it’s also easy for a hacker to steal. Use passwords as long as they allow, even if it’s 20 figures and characters.
* Is Changed Often – No matter how hard your passwords are, you should consider changing them often, at least every three to four months. The more you change your passwords, the less likely a hacker is to figure them out. Remember, they use software that runs through combinations allowed on your system, and over time they may crack it.
* Does Not Hold Meaning to the User – Do not use names, locations, dates, or anything that means something to you as a user. The password should be truly random in nature and never used for anything else other than that one account.
* Is Kept Secure – When you create a password, if you save it openly someone will take it. Sticky notes, notebooks not locked away, and unsecure storage systems will not keep your password safe. This is not what makes a strong password!
* Is Not Shared Widely – Don’t give your passwords to other people. You may want to put something in your will for your business partner or your partner and children about where they can find the passwords, but don’t share them openly. If someone needs your password, create a temporary one for them to use when they are using it then cancel it.
* Can Be Located When Needed – If you die or are injured or you cannot recall the password, you must be able to locate it. Usually locked away is a good place for them. A locked safe or file cabinet with updated passwords works great for password security.
* Is Used on a Secure System – You’ll need to ensure that you only start accounts with trusted businesses to start with. Then you’ll avoid problems that are often had by people who use bad systems. Gaming systems come to mind.
In fact, this is the only factor when considering what makes a strong password. It is that a password is only as strong as the user and the system it’s used on. Don’t start accounts with businesses that are not trustworthy, change your passwords often, and make them hard. Do your part to combat hackers and identity thefts.
This is so important that… I’ll repeat myself…
“… this is the only factor when considering what makes a strong password. It is that a password is only as strong as the user and the system it’s used on”.