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May the password be with you

The endorsement of stronger passwords allows you to wander the digital avenues without fear of ending up in a blind alley alone with ruffians.

The endorsement of stronger passwords allows you to wander the digital avenues without fear of ending up in a blind alley alone with ruffians.


A great SplashData’s research of insecure password habits has shown that many users tend to put themselves at the unnecessary risk on the internet.  It is quite shocking that among 2 million leaked passwords, “123456” is still the most used one. The second place is reserved for the “password”, another strikingly unimaginative specimen.  It is followed by “qwerty”, which is hardly any better. The problem is that these simple patterns are child’s play for hackers.

What you should be aiming at instead is a password that is long, complex and unpredictable. Everything we do on the Internet leaves a trail, which is being monitored and followed. So, avoid examples like those on a “Worst Passwords List”. Make your trail harder to follow, and hide your digital possessions. After all, password is an essential layer of protection in the digital universe.

You shall not pass

Think of passwords as keys to your online home, where a lot of valuable stuff can be located. They are something we all have power over, as we log in to various websites and services on a daily basis. The crucial aspect is the password strength, its ability to resist guessing or brute-force attacks.  You want something that is a tough nut to crack, not an invitation for hackers. Do not be a fly caught in a giant web, or at least catch the sight of the hungry spiders.  

passwords

A password can be created manually or via an automation program. Now, in the second case, the strength of the password can be calculated with precision, which cannot be said for human-generated one. Generally, long, random character strings are the best option. They can withstand a brute force attack or guessing process, due to their lengthy and entropic nature.  The only problem with them is that they are hard to remember. This is probably the main reason why people opt for their weaker counterparts.

On the other hand, many users have made an effort to prolong their passwords. It is advisable to make the password at least 12 characters long, if that is permitted. Furthermore, it is a good idea to include both the uppercase and lowercase characters and a mix of symbols and numbers. These are hard rules follow, no matter how many passwords you need to come up with. What is more, each password should be significantly different from the other ones you use.

A theme party

Another thing that could help you deal with a large number of codes is a password manager. Some of them are stand-alone applications, while others are used in web browsers, or built into the operating system. So, you can use programs like TeamsID to organize various passwords and generate random ones. Now you have only one thing to remember, a key to the encrypted password database. You can also write down your passwords, as long as you keep the paper safe.

Steer clear of popular themes and trends that serve as a popular source of inspiration for passwords. For example, sports passwords like “football” and “baseball” are in top ten of the most used ones, while the movie hype has also launched “starwars” on the list. Sorry to break it to you, but the Force seems to work only for the Jedi, not careless internet users.  Finally, avoid biographical information, dictionary words, keyboard patterns and character repetition.

A guiding light

After all, we want to make good use of the blessing Internet bestows upon us. One of them is online shopping, which is the best way to get what you want efficiently and fast. Thus, first make sure that the payment gateways are safe and sound and fully authorized as a Payment Service Provider. You have to do your part. Otherwise, you are at risk of having your information stolen and privacy jeopardized. Maybe even worse, the money could be lost in translation.

password

Therefore, on top of choosing  trusted services, follow the tips above. The internet has changed our lives in many good ways, but we must all make sure we stay away from its dark side. Remember that although a strong password lowers the risk of a security breach, it is not a silver bullet. It must be used in synergy with other safety measures. That is why good websites feature a multi-factor authentication process and advanced measures of protecting private data.  

Walking the line

Password is the first line of defense against the many perils that roam the online world. But, the passwords that reign supreme in the internet kingdom have shown that users do not take security seriously. Do not make the same mistake, and go for long, random passwords. Remembering a dozen of different, complex passwords is difficult, but it is the only way to mitigate the security risks.  The endorsement of stronger passwords allows you to wander the digital avenues without fear of ending up in a blind alley alone with ruffians. May the password always be with you, and may you never forget it.

Sonya is a passionate business consultant from Melbourne, Australia. She has a wide range of interests, including online writing, technology trends and marketing in general and likes to share her own experiences in those fields. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games.

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