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Computing Basics: Password Management

Password Management

Padlocked KeyboardIn the modern information age, picking good passwords is incredibly important. With the increasing amount of personal data being transmitted on-line and people growing more dependent on computers to pay their bills, manage their finances and communicate with others from a distance, a skilled hacker can easily get into a system and steal personal data by utilizing a couple of common tricks. Using longer, more complex passwords and using different passwords for different systems can enhance your cyber-security. Don't think it can happen to you? Check to see if your e-mail might have been compromised by hackers on Have I Been Pwned? 


Tips And Tricks For Good Passwords

1. Never write down your passwords. (At the very least, don't keep them on a post-it next to the computer.)

2. Never use the same password for more than one thing. Once a hacker has one password, they'll try it on everything.

3. Make your password unique - something only you would know or an acronym or number that only makes sense to you.  

4. Make your password long. Longer passwords are harder to guess or hack. 8 characters minimum is standard.

5. When possible, a password should make use of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. 

6. Avoid using personal information a person might learn, like your birthday or the names of family members, as a password.

7. Consider using a password manager program.

8. Do not save passwords in your web browser, particularly on websites where you spend money.

9. Passwords are like underwear - they should be changed often. 

Passwords To Avoid

1. Password - 9 times out of 10, this is the first thing a hacker tries. Avoid PASSWORD and P@55W0RD too.

2. QWERTY Or 12345 - Avoid any kind of sequence on the keyboard.

3. Proper Names or Dictionary Words - There are programs hackers can use to cycle through these.

4. Anything With "1" Added To The End -  Password1 is not much better than Password.

5. Favorite Sports Team - It's shocking how many Texans think "cowboys" is a good password.

6. Common Words Related To Entry - welcome, login, openseasame and enter are right out.

7. Animals - dolphin, tiger, wolf and other popular favorite animals


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