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How to choose a Secure Password?

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Due to the number of Usernames and Password one needs to remember, we are inclined towards using something which we are already very familiar with to make it easier. We are also tempted to opt for universal passwords for everything because it is easier to remember just one password rather than several different passwords. Unfortunately, the danger associated to this is, a smart hacker can break them very easily. 

 

First using a password with the real name or pet name of a user should be avoided. Moreover avoid passwords on information that can found with a bit of research on you, such as your wife’s name, child’s name, type of car you own, a phone number or vehicle license tag, your address, a parent’s name, your date of birth, etc.

 

A common method used by hackers to break a password is the dictionary method of attack. This method uses a dictionary in any language to try large numbers of words to see if an actual word is in the password. Reversed words, frequent misspellings and look-alike letter replacements are also checked.

 

One solution that is popular is to use a sentence that is easy to recall and use the first letter of each word in the sentence for the password. Using this method, “Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away” translates into the password “pdntspa”

 

To make it more complex, mix in some upper case letters and maybe “P” for Please. Add a date make the final password “Pdntspa1999”. It looks complicated but it is easy to recall the year, and the sentence.

 

Since a great many passwords are case sensitive, the use of upper case letters greatly increases the difficulty of breaking such a password. Symbols can be used with some systems, so using an easy to remember question mark and a dollar sign will make the password “Anwy?ccdfy$1961” makes it an even better password.

 

A change like this adds length to the password, making it far more difficult for a hacker to break. A password should be a minimum of eight characters but fourteen or more, like the example above, is best.

 

To enhance the security of your passwords, you should:Use a separate password for each program or application, don’t use a common password for all.Keep all passwords private, don’t share them with anyone who doesn’t really need to know. Every three or four months, change your passwords. So not use your passwords on shared computers such as in a public library or cyber cafe as there could be keystroke software installed.

If someone says they are from your bank or some such place and asks for your password, do not give it.

Banks and other similar places will never ask for your PIN or password.

Author: Sunil Saripalli

I am Sunil...working as information security officer....i am into computers since my Degree...i used to Teach Hardware and Networking and assemble and sell computers and network solutions. After degree i started my first job in a US Based Company worked for 4 years in Support Functions. Got a chance to work as Team Lead in another US Based Company and worked there for a year and a bit later shifted to Citi due to higher degree of challenges offered in larger environments like citi....i belive Knowledge is power and i would love to share it....i am sure i will make this blog a very useful place for cyber gurus......

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