P@$$w0rd Tips
(Paul Watkins 07/13/09)

    How many passwords do you have? How many of them are different? How good are your passwords? Here are some tips to help you with all those passwords.

    1. Rules for good passwords:
  • Passwords should always be 7 or more characters long.
  • Always have at least one UPPER-CASE letter and at least one lower-case letter.
  • Always have at least one number in your password.
  • Always have one or more non-alphabetical/non-numberical special character like the "!" above the "1" or the "@" above the "2", etc., etc.
  • Stay away from real words as much as possible.
  • Never use your name (first, middle, or last).
  • Never use numbers like birth date, phone number, SS#, etc. DO NOT use them!
  • NEVER use the word "password"; not even like in the title above!
  •     Password cracking programs have to take lots longer and are therefore less likely to figure out your password if you use all these rules. Making your password 10, 12, or 14 characters will make it even that much safer.

        DO NOT use the same password for all your different accounts. Otherwise if someone finds out the password for one account they would know it for all. Ever heard of "identity theft"? At least have 6-12 different passwords and change them every once in a while. It may be bothersome, but not as bad as the alternative.

        NEVER store your passwords on your computer. If someone hacked into your computer they could find them there. Store them in a wordprocessing file or spreadsheet file and save the file to a floppy disk, usb memory stick, or CD. Then store that thing some place safe and some place you won't forget. Print out a copy to keep near your computer (at home, NOT at work) for your convenience. (If someone breaks into your house and steals the printout [to me this seems less likely than getting hacked] just change them all right away.)

        Use non-alphabetical symbols in place of letters. E.g. - Use "@" in place of the letter "a". Use "!" in place of the letter "i". Use "$" instead of "s". Use "0" (zero) instead of "o"; "1" instead of "l", etc. etc. Have fun making up words out of a combination of letters and symbols. (e.g. - !@m$@f3rN0w = I am safer now)

        Check out these links for other hints or google "password hints" for more ideas.
    Password hints        More password hints
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