People are been faced with the problem of choosing a secure password while creating a new account for a computer, gadgets or Internet websites, one of the biggest challenge is choosing a secure password and which could also be easily remembered by you. Its becoming very annoying that almost every website or applications now requires account creation, so the requirement of password creation is increasing every day.
While we may find them annoying, and even take them for granted, it is important to remember why passwords are important: passwords are often the first (and possibly only) defense against intrusion. They protect personal information – information we don’t want anyone and everyone to know. In our personal lives, this means financial information, health data, and private documents. In a professional context, this may encompass anything considered crucial to the success of the organization: trade secrets, financial data, intellectual property, customer lists, etc.
As much as it is not advisable to reuse passwords for numerous accounts I will say it is very difficult to remember a unique and strong password for different accounts assuming you have multiple accounts, the following steps will guide you in creating a secure password:
- Use at least eight (8) characters: you can use the advantage of length to secure your password as the longer the password the more secure your password might likely be.
- Use a random mixture of characters, upper and lower case, numbers, punctuations and symbols: by mixing up your password to contain different type of characters makes it mover secure.
- Don’t use passwords based on personal information such as: name, nickname, birthdate, wife’s name, pet’s name, home town, phone number etc. as it is very easy to for hackers to write a program that will guess your password base on your personal information given on such account.
- Don’t use a word found in a dictionary either English or foreign; never ever use a straight word found in any kind of dictionary. This is a very strong tool hacker’s use.
- You can use the first letter of each word from a line of a song, poem or favourite quote or concatenate the words e.g. “A Golden Key Can Open Any Door” becomes AGKCOAD and “YouWantTheTruth?YouCantHandleTheTruth!”.
- Choose two short words and concatenate them together with a punctuation or symbol character between the words eg. “seat%tree”
- Never use the same password twice on different account: as stated earlier it is very difficult remembering all different securely created passwords for different accounts, but using same password for all accounts is a very unsecure practice. I will advise you group your account. e.g. all social media accounts can have same secure password, and so on but make sure to always create a unique password for all your financial accounts online.
- Never use a password based on your username, account name, computer name or email address.
- You should change your password regularly, this can differ for different account types e.g. once in two months for social media accounts, once in a month for financial accounts etc.
- Never store your password on your computer especially in notepad also note that the password cache that comes with windows (.pwl files) is NOT secure, so whenever windows prompts you to “Save password” mostly don’t.