Practicing Good Password Security

Quite often username and password characters can be a problem for most of us. At some point, we all get frustrated when trying to use them. These days using complex login information is very important though. Especially online when setting up or using hosting, secure accounts and email accounts.

What's worse our lifestyle has now become driven by multiple passwords and login ID's for all that we do in this day and age.

As a security precaution, passwords should always be complex (no matter what service or facility they’re being used for). You should always use both uppercase and lowercase characters, as well as symbols like: !#$%^&*()_. Use longer passwords: 8 (minimum) to 10 or 16 character passwords the longer the better. A good mix of characters is highly recommended to ensure passwords cannot be hacked easily. Never use short 5 character word passwords these days, as they are easy to crack. IE: "LoVeMe" is easier to crack than "FmH(rT4$5ttFuBar" as a password.

Quite often characters themselves can be an issue. I uppercase (i) and l lowercase (L) are a common confusing problem in passwords. 0 (zero) and O  uppercase (o) is also another character which is commonly confused in passwords as fonts make these two look the same.

If you ever have issues with passwords try this procedure:

Copy your password into Notepad (pressing CTRL C simultaneously to copy, CTRL V to paste) from it's original source. Check the characters then copy/paste into your login facility/service. This will ensure the right characters are being used.

Here are some other quick tips and important security procedures to use when considering passwords:

  • Always record passwords in a “secure place” you can access when you need to.
  • It is not recommended to store them on your computer in an unsecured file like Excel or Word. If you manage your passwords in a file like these - store the file on a “Secure Encrypted USB” key with a memorized master password.
  • The same goes for written down passwords, like in a notebook pad, lock it up when you don’t need it.
  • Use different passwords everywhere. Never use the same password over and over again on all your services. Change it up substantially on each password and service you use.
  • Don’t use common family names, dates, pet names, etc. If you do, ensure you mix with upper and lower case and special characters.
  • Never use a free email account when setting up retrieval or new password facilities. Use an email account only you have access to.
  • Change your passwords regularly. Yes it’s time consuming. But critical ones are the most important to update on a normal basis - i.e. bank accounts, hosting, payment facility logins, etc.
  • Don’t store browser passwords on your iPad, or laptop or mobile device.  Even if you use a master lock password for the operating system - If the device is ever stolen, someone can access the accounts stored in the browser or other facilities quite easily.