What does it take to create a password? To protect your savings and
In today’s world, everything we do online requires a password.
Although passwords keep us safe, if not created properly, they can open
the door for the fastest growing crime in today’s society: identity
Protect yourself; take the time to choose a secure password.
Here are some very important guidelines to think about when generating
a strong password:
Don’t devalue the importance of a password.
Most people feel that passwords are more of a hassle than a safeguard.
As a result, they choose something easy to remember, like the name
of a close relative. Be sure to think about the purpose of the
password you’re creating. Is it for an online video gaming site? If so,
choosing a basic password may not be your major downfall (if you’re
not too concerned about protecting your perfect score). But would
you want the password to your online chess account to be the same
online bank account?
Treat your passwords like cash!
Ask yourself one simple question: Do you leave large sums of money
just sitting on your desk at work? Doubtful. So why would you
passwords out for all to see? Writing down your passwords can be
risky; but if it’s absolutely necessary, keep them somewhere
that only you have access to. A lockbox or Travel Safe is a great
way to do this.
They are relatively small and easy to keep close at hand, and also
include a built-in lock for protection.
Create clever passwords.
Like the majority of people, you probably have hundreds of things you
are trying to remember at any one time. Luckily, there are a few hints
and tricks out there to help you create passwords that are easy to
remember, yet still difficult for others to decode. Described here
are reversing, characterizing, numerating, and combination basing techniques
to help get you started.
- Reversing – Reversing is the art of taking
a password you like to use and reversing it, so that the letters
are in opposite order. For example, if your password was BUTTERCUP,
just simply reverse the letters to be PUCRETTUB. This is a
good low-to-medium-level security solution for low threat websites,
but would be a poor choice for your bank account or 401K.
- Characterizing – Characterizing requires
taking a word and replacing some of its letters with symbols
or characters (such as !@#$%^&*). While some websites may
not allow symbols, if a website allows symbols, take advantage
of the additional security. Here are a few examples of how
you can use characterizing in your passwords:
Adding unique characters to the beginning or end of your words
will help as well, (such as buttercup?!), just be sure not to
use symbols that reflect what you are trying to protect. (Don’t
use $Buttercup$ for your online bank account password.)
- Numerating – One of the easiest ways to
add an extra layer of security is by numerating, or adding
numbers to your passwords. These numbers should be easy to
remember, but difficult for most people to figure out. Using
memorable dates can be a good start, but steer clear from common-knowledge
events such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries (either
your own or those of close family members). The age you were
when you got your first kiss, the day your spouse proposed,
or some other private number would be a safe bet. If you don’t
have the time to think that far into it, just simply adding
four numbers to your password will add a measurable level of
security. Here are some examples below:
- Combination Basing – Combination Basing is the act
of taking two words that don’t mean anything by themselves,
and linking them together to make a phrase. This phrase should
have a special meaning that makes sense to you, allowing it
to be easily remembered but difficult for others to understand.
An event that stands out in your mind, a line from your favorite
song, or an odd saying that your mother uses are all prime
examples. Combination basing is a great way to create a medium
level password that is difficult to decode, but easy to remember.
Here are some examples below:
||I love to sit by a campfire and think.
||One time we drove to the mountains and stopped to get
ice cream. When we came out, our tire was flat and we had
to wait 12 hours to get it fixed.
||I once purchased a home that had a large egg incubator
in the basement.
- Also consider using multiple options from this
list. Combining two or more of the suggestions above will quickly
and easily take you from a low or medium level security password
to a high level security password.
ICECREAMTIRE6464 (uses Combination Basing and Numerating)
I<E<REAMTIRE6464 (uses Combination Basing, Numerating,
ERITMAER<E<I6464 (uses Combination Basing, Numerating,
Characterizing, and Reversing)
When managing your passwords, there are various options and strategies available
that address both the importance of sound security as well as the concern for
ease of use. Heeding the advice above is the simple first step toward identity
theft prevention and financial security for yourself, your business, and your
Protecting your data is necessary for identity theft prevention, just
as securing your hardware is vital to your company’s productivity.
For help with physical security solutions for PCs, Laptops, and other IT