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    How to Choose a Strong Password: The Basics

    How to Choose a Strong Password

     

    Since the internet quickly became the norm for banking and all sorts of monetary transactions and commerce it’s increasingly important to know the ropes for keeping good passwords. There are a lot of smart people working to steal your identity so it’s important to use strong passwords and know the basics for keeping your credentials safe.

    Here we’ll look at some great ways to choose online passwords as well as some notable tips for keeping your personal information secure on the internet.  

    TOP 10 Passwords Used: Avoid using these!

    1. 123456
    2. password
    3. 12345678
    4. qwerty
    5. 123456789
    6. 12345
    7. 1234
    8. 111111
    9. 1234567
    10. dragon

    Length

    The longer your password the harder it will be to crack. Use this to your advantage. Most websites will require a minimum length of 8 letters so use this as your base. One great way to make long passwords is to take 2-4 words with meaning to you and combine them into a seemingly random phrase. For example you can take the street you live on, your favorite restaurant, and your first grade teacher and combine them into an unintelligible jumble that will still be easy to remember for you.

    Variance

    Next, it’s important to add some variance to your password to keep it random and make it harder to crack. A lot of websites nowadays will have requirements in place to make sure your password is not too simple. For example, some will ask that you use a number, symbols, or upper and lower case letters. Use it all! Strong variations in letters, numbers, symbols, and case will create a very strong password. Additionally, you won’t have to alter your password to work with specific websites if you already meet the criteria.

    Examples of variation:

    • Use a mix of alphabetical and numeric characters
    • Use a mixture of upper and lowercase; passwords are case sensitive
    • Use symbols if the system allows 
    • Use a combination of letters and numbers, or a phrase like “more dogs” using only the consonants, e.g., apTc0l4rc or a misspelled phrase, e.g., 2MorePuPeez or ItzmuhPuP
    • Pick something obscure:an odd character in an otherwise familiar term, such as thuphnyone instead of thefunnyone
    • Replace a letter with another letter, symbol or combination 
    • Two words separated by a non-alphabetic, non-numeric, or punctuation character, e.g., MY%Dog or &Sa*F0e 

    Multiple Passwords

    One of the most simple but still most effective ways to keep your assets safe on the web is to use different passwords for different websites. For example, if your facebook gets hacked one of the first things that the hacker is going to do is to try your same password and username across a long list of websites to see if anything works. If you fall into the habit of using the same password for everything then if one site is compromised so are all of them. So, it might seem troublesome to remember so many passwords (though you don’t need a different one for each website) but this is where your ‘base’ comes in handy. You can use the same root and change the variance or keep the same variance and change the root. This will make it easy to remember but also very strong.

    Password Manager 

    What is a password manager? A password manager is an online service that stores your passwords and other data like credit card numbers, bank account information, addresses,  and identification documents in an environment secured via military-grade encryption. CNET's list of top password managers for 2022.

    and last but not least, 

    Two-Factor Authentication

    Two-factor authentication—often referred to as two-step authentication and 2FA—is a method for keeping your data safe online by adding an extra step (or more) to the log-in process. It does this by providing an extra layer of security beyond the standard username and password, which are typically fairly easy for bad actors to obtain or guess. Source: Rd.com

    Remember that the longer and more complex your password is the least likely you are to become a victim of cyber hacking. And, don't forget to keep your passwords safe not only in your computer or phone, but also keep a hard copy somewhere safe in your home or business. Lock it up in a safe, hide it inside your favorite book, or put it in your fridge? No one will want to steal your left overs. 

     

     

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