Password Security – What information can be accessed through your password?
Have you ever thought about your password security – what could happen if someone accessed your password? Take a look inside your e-mail account and see what personal or confidential information you have lying there, or of sentimental value. Do you have contact from your child’s school? Your bank? Your Paypal? Your password is a gateway to so many areas of your life. Well it is mine.
Password Security – Why it is so important
The reason I’m getting you to think about your password security is that one day someone did get into my e-mail account. I thought my password was safe. Your password shouldn’t be anything obvious like your child’s name. Your password should not be memorable dates – birthdays, anniversaries, that sort of thing. Your password should contain a mix of letters and numbers, upper and lower case. Mine was – I thought I was safe. Your password should not be written down and you should not share your password with anyone. Mine was not. But somehow it was discovered (we believe by a brute force hacking programme). You may not think anyone would want your password, to get in and sabotage your Facebook, your Twitter, your Blog – but you would be surprised about what kind of people are out there. And they may be accessing your password to get to your money. Now whilst this sort of behaviour does not happen every day I think it is always a good idea to make sure you keep your password safe, and as none guessable as possible.
Password Security – Making sure you do not have a weak password
Apart from the obvious, as mentioned above, you should not use common words, names, places with meanings to you. Really don’t use anything that makes sense. When creating your password other things to avoid are using consecutive numbers, or letters on the keyboard, or in sequential order, and repeating patterns (avoid the same character twice). Random letters, numbers, symbols, upper and lower case and at least 8 characters long are the most secure way of keeping your password safe. If that seems a bit much to remember why not think of a word, replace some letters with numbers and symbols, and then jumble up the order. Another good tip for creating and remembering your password is to think of a sentence and just use say the first letter or last letter of each word so that it still makes sense to you.
Password Security – Across your Online Presence
Your password to your e-mail account can lead to going on to various websites and asking for reminders, or changing your password for those sites. Make sure you can get back into your email account by using security questions (again if it asks where your mother was born and you obviously have a strong family history of living in London, then this is going to be pretty easy to access your account) – again answer the question with random letters and numbers. Attach an alternative e-mail address to the account, and/or your mobile phone number.
You should make sure that your passwords are unique for the different accounts you are trying to access – if your password is guessed then it will be harder to utilise other places you go online if the passwords are different. And of course be careful where you enter your password online.
Make sure you change your password regularly, no longer than 3 to 4 months, but not too regularly that your password becomes weak. If you give access to apps through Facebook and Twitter, for example, consider revoking the access once you have finished utilising the app; I always then go on to change my password just as a precaution.
I hope I haven’t frightened you too much about your password and if anyone else has any other tips or things to avoid then I would love to hear about them in the comments. This post was prompted by the fact that I received an e-mail from myself in the middle of the night!
This is not a sponsored post.