5 Steps to A More Secure Password

Although the recent spate of email, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat password thefts are a de facto serious concern, there is a comic sidestory to all of them. Its about our choice of passwords. They’re mostly hilarious.

A recent hack of Adobe passwords gave researcher Jeremi Gosney of the Stricture Consulting Group a chance to look at 6M of the passwords. After deciphering them, he posted the most used passwords.

Read them and laugh. And then weep.

  1. 123456

  2. 123456789

  3. password

  4. adobe123

  5. 12345678

  6. qwerty

  7. 1234567

  8. 111111

  9. photoshop

  10. 123123

Do any of them seem familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Not even close, apparently.

The hacking done to get these passwords sounds a lot more complex than it really is. Hacking, in most cases, is simple guesswork based on a presumption of human nature as being pretty lazy.

Part of the problem is the onerous task of picking passwords and remembering them. With that in mind consider these 5 Steps to A More Secure Password.

1) Password Vault Apps

You’re only human. You can’t possibly remember all of the various passwords you set up and change in your professional and personal lives. So don’t.
Get an online secure password vault app for either your phone, tablet or computer system. Secure it with an extremely personal password. And put all your passwords in it. Forget one? Go in and get it. Do it until you memorize it, if ever.

2) The Passwords

Numbers, caps, symbols; all good to have in a password. Its important that none of those numbers or letters have any easy connection to you. Spouse’s name? No. Kids names? Ixnay. Same for birthdays and such. Some of that info is rather easy to find online and as such, childs play for a hacker. Use a unique combo of all of the above. Here’s one: Bawb&$101 How to remember that? That one is a phonetically correct version of my first name and $101. Try doing something like that or pick a name from history that has some importance to you. Pick several if needs be. And if its a challenge to remember, use that password locker as noted above.

3) Change Your Password

So you got a good password? Great. Now you have to change it. Well not right away, but you should come up with another one for each account about every 3 months. It would be easy to forget so if you have a calendar, set it up as a recurring event four times a year or some such.

4) Go Pro With a Password Cloud Solution

If you have more than a few passwords to remember, consider using a password solution that stores multiple passwords in the Cloud and does the login work for you. Check out 1Password, LastPass or Mac’s iCloud Keychain.

3) The Work and Home Conundrum

Even though it’s sometimes hard to know when work ends and home life begins, you must keep the passwords separate. Use the same methods as noted above or the ones recommended by your IT consultant at work.


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