Create a strong password, prepare for the worst

Anand Mokashi – 

Passwords are now an integral part of modern urban life.

From email, Facebook account and mobile phone to laptop passwords, you or your doorkeepers decide whether you can access a gadget or service.

An Intel Security 2016 Poll estimated that a person has 27 discrete online logins.

Webopedia defines password as “A series of secret characters that enables a user to access a file, computer or programme.

On multiuser systems, each user must enter his or her password before the computer responds to commands. The password keeps unauthorised users away.

In addition, data files and programmes may require a password.

Ideally, the password should be something that nobody could guess.

In practice, most people choose a password that is easy to remember, such as their name or their initials. This is one reason why it is relatively easy to break into most computer systems.

Secure Password

Despite security breaches and warning screens that appear while signing up for new services, we are often slack about creating secure passwords and resort to avoidable practices like duplicating passwords between accounts, sharing passwords and using common information that is easy for a malicious person (or software) to crack.

Here are six easy yet powerful tips that can help you to protect your account against hackers and malware sourced from Webopedia.

Make passwords complex and impersonal: Leverage both upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers where applicable. Create random passwords that cannot be guessed based on general knowledge others may have about you.

Stanko Tomic, head of engineering, RoboForm at Siber Systems

Avoid dictionary terms: Dictionary cracks guess passwords using lists of common passwords and then move to the whole dictionary. This is typically much faster than a brute force attack because there are far fewer options.

Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-Founder, Keeper Security, Inc

Think of a phrase from a song, slogan or jingle: Take the first character from each word as your password. Try to use 12-14 characters. Add a number and/or punctuation character to complete it.

Greg Kelley, EnCE, DFCP, Vestige, Ltd

Password Manager: If you choose to use a password manager, you are effectively creating a single point of failure for your personal security.

If someone figures out your password to that, they can then access all your other passwords. To best secure your password manager, use a long password. It need not be complex, but should be 18+characters.

For example, BlueHouseGreenYardWhiteFenceGoodNeighbors

Adam Peterson, CEO, VipeCloud

Create Mnemonic: Create strong passwords by using a mnemonic to remember them. For instance, a password for a clothes shopping site could be Mysizeis08, which is a related full sentence but difficult to crack.

Sanjay Deo, President and Founder, 24By7Security, Inc

No Dictionary Please: Do not use a word from the dictionary. Multiple words strung together are fine, but not a single word.

Greg Kelley, EnCE, DFCP, Vestige, Ltd

It is important to remember that implementing these or similar suggestions does not ensure 100% security. Hackers and malware are getting stronger and more sophisticated and the battle against this evil is ongoing.

It is up to us to take adequate precautions, and be prepared for the worst.

Anand Mokashi is an IT Lecturer, Consultant and Digital Media Specialist with a passion for all things online. Email: anand_mokashi@yahoo.com

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