Protect your accounts:
Most of us these days have multiple user accounts that need protection—bank accounts, credit card accounts, home Wi-Fi, email, computers, Amazon.com account, etc. We have all been told multiple times that we must have good strong passwords to protect unauthorized access to these accounts.
There are actually 2 steps over which people tend to stumble when creating password protected accounts:
1. Choosing an easily guessed user name. Many online systems require your email as a username. If it doesn’t, we suggest a unique username. Your email address can be easily obtained these days. Using a unique user name creates a more secure login.
2. Choosing an easily discoverable password. That said, utilizing a hard to guess password tends to have the unintended side effect of a password you cannot remember a few days (if not minutes) after its creation. Unfortunately, many people decide to go with something they know they will remember, like their spouse's name, or a pet's name. Passwords of this variety are easy to discover by those wishing to steal from us.
So what do we do?
When you decide to create an account somewhere, try creating a user name that is not your name or your email address. For instance, a nickname, or a variation for a favorite team: The Pirates become PirateBeach, or eyepatch, etc.
When it comes time to create that password—or change an existing password to something more secure—Passwords such as 57Chevy, Lakersfan, etc. will not hold up to more than a few seconds of an attack. Of course, the best passwords encompass random strings of numbers, letters and special characters like M3%vD1^>!bt8,#* but who in the world could remember that?!#@?
Instead, let's take another approach. First of all, longer is better when it comes to passwords. Mathematically speaking, each character added to a password makes it exponentially harder to crack. For example, a 1 character password has about 92 possibilities but a 2 character password has about 92 x 92 possibilities (assuming lower and upper-case letters, 10 digits, and the typical available special characters).
I recommend using a 15 character password, or even better, a phrase. Many systems have a 15 character limit. A good example here would be taking "rocketman" and changing it to "918r0kc1t2m0oNn" an obfuscated version of the phrase "918 rocket to the moon."
How to remember all of those good strong passwords? Look for our upcoming blog which will address ways in which to record or digitally deal with passwords.
If you would like further help or recommendations, contact us either from our website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918-492-2100.