Did the recent news about the Russian crime ring stealing 1.2 billion usernames and passwords leave you with an uncomfortable feeling?I am sure an instant reaction would be to change all passwords used for online shopping sites and if you do, here are some tips to help you create much more robust passwords for the future.
- Avoid using obvious ones such as “Password” and “000000” or “1,2,3,4,5,6,”. You would be amazed just how many people rely on these standard passwords!
- Don’t use words that can be guessed easily i.e. your own name, or family member names, pet names, parts of your address or birthdates as these can easily be looked up.
- Best to make your passwords long and use a combination of letters and numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols. However some websites have a limit on the number of characters, so if this is the case, make them as complex as possible.
- Use symbols or numbers instead of letters i.e $ instead of S, 0 instead of o, 3 instead of E.
- Also good to think of a phrase such as “you get what you pay for” and take the first letter of each word YgWyP4!
- Choose a word and add numbers i.e. COMPUTER = C12O34M56P78T9ER
- Never use the same password for several sites. Okay I hear you say, but how do I remember them all??? Easy. A good solution is to download some encryption software such as KeePass. I am a great fan. Not only is this a totally free open source (OSI certified) password manager, but you can put all your passwords in one database which is locked with one master key. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure algorithms currently known.