Password Strength, Pt. 1: Picking an Unbreakable Password

Published on: January, 18th 2012 | Under: How To: Technology 101

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Passwords are a big part of keeping your work safe online.  Nearly every vital system and tool that businesses use today are password-protected, so it is critical to create strong passwords that are easy for you to remember and difficult for hackers to figure out.  In general, a strong password is one that appears complex and would be difficult to guess.  Below are some specific ways you can achieve this.

Creating Strong Passwords

cyber_securityMake it lengthy – Longer is better here, provided you can remember it.  Each character you add increases the amount of tries a hacker needs to correctly guess it. Your passwords should be 8 characters or longer.

Add letters, numbers, and symbols – A greater variety of characters make your password harder to guess. Punctuation symbols are very valuable for password strength, including those not found on the upper row of the keyboard (such as ? { { ] ).  Numbers are great too, and combinations of numbers, letters, and punctuation are ideal.

Include words that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess – The name of your first pet or your mother’s maiden name are common ones.  In the age of Facebook, though, pick personal words that are not included in your social media profiles and activity.

Avoid your name/ID info – if it is displayed on common identification cards that can be lost or stolen (your driver’s license), don’t put it in your passwords.  This includes birthday, address, height/weight, and Driver’s License Number.

Avoid sequences or repeated characters –“12345678,” “222222,” “abcdefg,” or adjacent letters on your keyboard are common combinations that hackers will try.  Assuming that hackers will not try obvious combinations like those above is a mistake.  The more obvious it is, the more certainly they will try it.

Use more than one password – use a different password for every system you login to, rather than the same password for several systems.  This can make the difference between a hacker getting access to one of your systems and getting access to all of your systems.

Password-protected data is at the core of almost all business operations and success these days, so this is definitely something to focus on.  To develop a deeper level of Data Security with a professional technician, click here to contact your local Computer  Troubleshooter.


About Kim Weinberger

Kim Weinberger is Director of Operations for Computer Troubleshooters Global, Computer Troubleshooters USA and Geeks On Call. Kim’s long standing relationship with Computer Troubleshooters began in 2003 when she and her husband acquired a technology franchise in Fond du Lac, WI. In addition to her role as a franchise owner and operator, Kim also served as Assistant National Director for Computer Troubleshooters USA for five years. In this capacity she directed sales and marketing initiatives for the expanding franchise system....

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