It is fair to suggest that most people don’t really pay too much attention when creating a password for their YouTube or Facebook accounts – you could even say that the passwords chosen for online accounts are usually ones that are easy to remember – pets names “fluffycat” or something even more vulnerable like date of birth or even a surname, but you will soon regret that choice if your online accounts get hacked.
Having an account (or at worst, ALL of your accounts) hacked is not a pleasant experience, but it is something that you can recover from but more importantly – avoid if all the necessary steps are then to protect your online accounts. Whether it is personal social media or email accounts or even online accounts used for business, you should always consider your passwords VERY carefully.
Choosing my password – the do’s and dont’s
On some websites when choosing your password, there is a “password strength” indicator that hovers between red for weak, through to orange for moderate or green for a strong password. Remember that these password indicators are there for a reason – not just for pretty colours or to add interest to an otherwise boring sign-up/join-up/subscription form.
First of all we recommend that you try to choose a password that gives a “strong” result – not something that is easily hacked. Furthermore, we suggest a password that is a combination of CAPITAL LETTERS, numbers, and characters – !”£$%^&*() for example. The more numbers/letters in lower and caps and characters are used in combination, the stronger your password will be.
Don’t use the same passwords
This is something that many of us do – the ease of remembering one password for numerous online accounts is the quickest and easiest prospect, BUT could end up being a bad decision. It is VITAL that you use different passwords for different accounts online – I know it’s more work to remember various passwords but it is far safer to do this than the option of remembering one password with the same sequence of capital / lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Don’t use a word or phrase that can be related to you as a password
Internet security programmers work tirelessly 8-10+ hours a day to ensure you are safe from hackers and crackers. On the other hand, too many people use their surname or date of birth, their childs date of birth, road name where they live or house number even PIN numbers – all manner of words and numbers that are relateable as their passwords. Whether its an email account, blogging account, iPhone or otherwise, remember to use a password that does not relate to you in any way.
So, what is this strong password that I have been talking about in this blog?
Okay, I have explained the circumstances in which a weak password can cause problems and I have made many suggestions as to what you shouldn’t use for passwords, so, when all is said and done, what should you be taking into consideration when choosing a password? Have a look at the examples below of what is considered strong and weak passwords
3 examples of weak passwords
using the word ‘password’
3 examples of strong passwords
you get the idea – a password that is complex and contains more characters will give you maximum protection. There is a great little online application by Symantec that you can use to generate secure passwords – check it out here – Secure Password Generator
In essence, the longer and less logical your password is, the stronger it is considered to be and most importantly, less hackable or crackable. The more out of place the symbols are – !”£$%^&*() – the harder it is for password algorithm to crack it.
Never ever let anyone know your passwords, unless it is a close family member or partner that you can absolutely trust, but even then passwords really should remain confidential. If you have trouble remembering your password, write it down and keep it somewhere safe at all times.
The moral in all this is if you are a devout supporter of a pastime, sport or hobby and you are known for this, using your favourite football team as your password is equivalent to hanging a huge sign from the roof of your house inviting would-be criminals into your property to raid it of its possessions – perhaps a bit of a severe analogy, but you get the point!