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Online Safety and Identity Theft

How To Create A Secure Password

How To Create A Secure Password.

It’s not enough to use passwords. Some PC users will pick a password they like and can remember and use that password for the rest of their lives. This is not a safe password policy, even if that password is tough to crack. Instead, you need to look at how often you change your passwords and the types of passwords we are choosing. Only then can you hope to close that particular door in network and computer security.

How long should a password be?

A password needs to be at least six characters long and contain a mixture on letters, numbers and possibly symbols. The longer the password, the better. So you need to find a way to generate and memorize these passwords so you can use them in real life. One possible technique is to use a pattern on the keyboard. For example, you could use all of the center keys, then all of the number keys like so: “a-s-d-f-g-h-j-k-l-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0.” That’s a long password and it’s easy to remember because you have selected a pattern on the keyboard. To make it even stronger, you can hit the shift key and do it twice: “a-s-d-f-g-h-j-k-l-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0-A-S-D-F-G-H-J-K-L-!-@-#-$-%-^-&-*-(-).” This was the same key combination twice, except the second time around we held the shift key. You can also use a phrase and take the first letter from each phrase. To make it more secure, try adding a number before the first letter and maybe an exclamation point at the end. For instance: “I like apples because they are red.” That would translate to “7-i-l-a-b-t-a-r!”

How often should I change my password?

Depending on what you do and how you use your computer will determine how often you need to change your password. If you only check Emails at home and do not do any online banking or go to WiFi hotspots and surf with your laptop, you may only want to change your password every six months. If you are an avid Internet surfer, and if you frequent places that share Internet connectivity, then you’ll want to change it much more frequently.

Storing your passwords.

Passwords should be kept in your brain. Do not write them down and tape it below your monitor for easy access. If you must write it down, be sure to lock it away in a safe, lock box or encrypted database such as keepass. This is why it’s a good idea to come up with a password technique, such as a keyboard combination or phrase as mentioned above.

Having a secure password is only part of having a secure computer. It plays a major role and forces us to be reminded about the dangers of Identity Theft and other forms of criminal behavior. Have a policy and be sure to stick with it and you’ll feel more secure in the end.

Develop Good Computer Security Habits

Develop Good Computer Security Habits

Computer security is something we all need to consider. With email spam, phishing schemes and viruses on the rise, PC users need to know how to protect their data and privacy. Learn more about phishing, email, antivirus and other tips in this article written to help make users more aware of the increasing dangers of the Internet.

Having good computer security habits is something we all need to develop. As hacking and viruses evolve, so does the user. Operating System like Vista and XP have made improvements on security by turning on security features like Windows Firewall and User Account Control, but at the end of the day, the user must take a proactive approach to protecting their computers.

While it seems obvious to have a complex password, many users do not. There are tools on the Internet that give hackers and viruses the ability to crack simple passwords in seconds. Having a password of at least eight characters mixed with number, letters and symbols make it harder. Users should also rotate and create new variations of this difficult password and not use the same one on all websites.

Phishing is a hacking technique used commonly in emails and websites that try to obtain sensitive information from users, such as login's to bank accounts and other private information. Never click links in emails, as they can be faked. And never give out information to sites that you go to through email. If you have an online bank account for instance, be sure to manually type in the URL if you are sent an email from them. Typing in your bank’s website ensures that you are actually going to that site and not being re-directed to a site that looks like it.

Email can also be used by worms, which are viruses that procreate by emailing themselves to everyone in your email address boot. Never open attachments from friends or relatives unless you are expecting an attachment from them. Worms can send themselves in an executable attachment that installs the virus when it is opened.

Turn off the Internet
While this may be a tough pill to swallow for some users, consider turning off your computer when you’re not using it. If you are not on the Internet, you become a smaller target for random scans.

Have an Antivirus and Firewall Installed
Ubuntu, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and XP Service Pack 2 will have a firewall installed by default. A firewall can protect you from viruses and other mal-ware by blocking certain ports or ignoring traffic that hackers send out as feelers for unprotected PCs.

Being aware and having good computer security habits is only part of staying safe online. You must also keep your compute up to date.


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