Your first--and sometimes only--line of PC defense is your password. Even the most carefully crafted password can be rendered useless if you don't keep it secret. This is not such an easy thing to do, especially considering all the clever tricks data thieves have come up with to grab it, with or without your knowledge. More dangerous is the lackadaisical approach many people take to creating, using, and protecting their passwords. Here are 10 ways to use passwords to best effect.
- DO NOTwrite it down. Ever.
- Devise a password-creating system that's all yours.
use a longer password.. A password should be at least 8 characters long. A short
password is easier to remember, but also much easier for attackers to
- DO NOT use anything directly related to you, such as your street address, phone number or car license plate.
- DO NOT use the name of any person or place in your password. The attackers know all the common names.
- DO NOT use any word from the dictionary. The attackers have dictionaries too.
- DO NOT use a phrase or sentence. Once an attacker learns any portion of the phrase or sentence, the rest is easily guessed.
- DO NOT send your password via e-mail or give it out over the phone.
- Disable AutoComplete for user names and passwords.
- Change your password often.