Building the Perfect Password!

By:   |   June 21st, 2012   |   Tech
Password

We’ve all heard the stories of hacking in the recent media. Here’s a way to protect yourself.

 

It would amaze you how many people still use the password “password”. Don’t fall into that trap.

 

 SEE ALSO: iPhone 5 accidently revealed in WWDC?

 

You’d be surprised how many of the “big” recent hacks were propagated because of a few weak links in the chain. A few too many site administrators using “admin” or a few important people using “password” and a site is breached, details available for the world to see. You’d expect better from some people, but the fact of the matter is, no-one thinks that they themselves will fall victim to hackers. In an age when a lot of life revolves around technology, however, this mentality isn’t one that’s safe to have anymore.

 

You’ve heard the advice to take when building your password, but here it is again. When taking precautions to protect your privacy and security, there’s no such thing as too much advice. Your password is your last line of defence when it comes to protecting your privacy and security- think about it as much as you would when making sure your home is locked up at night.

 

Pick a Base Word

Many people are a little stuck when it comes to passwords. Random strings would probably be better suited- they don’t trace back to you in any way, and as such, are harder to trace. That being said, for those keeping multiple passwords, random strings are harder to remember, and lead to more confusion than security.

 

A base word is a word (or phrase) that is easily remembered. Avoiding phrases that anyone with a bit of research behind them could crack (i.e. Proper Names of people you know/ are close to/ admire and birthday dates should be discounted).

 

For the basis of this example, our base word is going to be: chocolate.

 

Complicate the Base Word:

Step 1) Case

The more sensitive characters there are in a password, the safer it is. Case is one way to add some complication to a password to make it harder to crack. Add in a mix of capital and lowercase letters.

In our example, chocolate becomes ChoColatE.

 

 SEE ALSO: iPhone 5 accidently revealed in WWDC?

 

 

If You’re Feeling Adventurous:

Compounding is another route you can take when complicating your base word. Compounding is when you combine your base word with another word, with their letters alternating. This simply makes the base word harder to guess.

Our previous example, ChoColatE becomes ChcooCookliaetE.

Did you get it? ChcooCookliaetE is a compound of chocolate and cookie.

 

Step 2) Characters

Characters are a great way to complicate your password- and even harder to crack than a case-sensitive password. Character-sensitive passwords replace certain letters with numbers and characters in order to make them more difficult to guess.

Using our previous examples, ChoColatE  could become Ch0C074+E. Here, we’ve replaced both the ‘o’s’ with a ‘0’ (zero), the ‘l’ with a ‘7’, the ‘a’ with a ‘4’ and the ‘t’ with a ‘+’ sign.

Using our compounded example with the same changes, ChcooCookliaetE becomes Chc00C00k7i4e+E.

 

Step 3) What Comes Next

Now that you’ve built the most secure password you can, the tick is keeping it secure. Some simple tips:

- Do not reveal your password to anyone. Your password is your last line of defence to your life’s secrets. Ok, maybe that’s a bit drastic, but the point still stands.

 

- As the LinkedIn hack happily proved, people tend to use the same password across multitudes of sites and addresses. This is even more happily exploited by hackers who are after your information and money. If you can, try not to use the same password across sites- variations are a lot more secure.

 

- Change your password regularly. Experts suggest at least once every three months, though you can opt to change it more regularly. It can be a bit of a pain, even seeming a little paranoid- “who’d want to get into my account that badly?”- but it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

 

Building he perfect password for yourself can be a little stressful to begin with, but it’s not something that should be overlooked.

 

 SEE ALSO: iPhone 5 accidently revealed in WWDC?

 

Would you overlook locking up your house for the night? People put a lot of information online- for it to be safe if something one should put their best efforts into. What are your thoughts on this? Be sure to let us know by commenting below and subscribe whilst you’re at it!

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