Thursday, October 22, 2009

Password Security

Your username and password are the first line of defense against an army of hackers and personal identity thieves.

Some Advice:

1. Use strong passwords, especially where your email address is used as your username. Strong passwords include letters (upper and lower case), numbers and special characters such as [^!#$@%{}].

Passwords with randomly selected characters are even better. I have added a web page to generate random character passwords under the Tools link at

Another technique involves creating an easy-to-remember sentence like: "My dog is named Spot.". Then use the first letter of each word in the sentence to create the password. In this case it would be "mdinS". That isn't the greatest password, but using longer sentences and exchanging numbers for letters with a special character at the end can be used to
create strong memorable strings.

2. Never use "password" as a password. Believe it or not it is a fairly common practice.

3. If you have the ability to choose a username, make the username something that is difficult to guess. This makes it a little more difficult to gain access to an account.

4. Don't use the same username and password on multiple websites, accounts or networks. This is a common, but risky practice. If one is compromised, they all are.

5. Store your various passwords in a password protected application such as Password Corral.