Many people do not realize how important it is to use strong passwords when creating accounts for logging in to a raft of websites. This is especially true where financial matters are concerned. Sadly, many web users pay one hell of a heavy price for their laxity when it comes to the security of their own online data and money. To avoid becoming yet another statistic of internet fraud, you should review all the passwords you have created and, where necessary, change them in order to make them more secure.
Insecure passwords can lead to serious losses
It is fair to say that online banking and payments are the highest risk area for internet fraud. If you use an online banking service, or a payment system like PayPal, you can bet that thieves would love to get their hands on your passwords so as to fleece your accounts of all the money they contain. For this reason, it is vitally important to make your banking and payment system passwords as secure as they can possibly be. To be fair, the same standards should be applied to ALL the passwords you use on the internet. But what makes a password secure or insecure?
Internet passwords worst practices
Internet users are guilty of some shocking naivety when it comes to devising passwords for their various accounts online. Some people actually use the word "password" as their password! It is also common to hear of people using their own names and numerical sequences like "1234" as their passwords. Hackers and crooks are wise to such idiotic methods of creating passwords so they will routinely give these dumbass passwords a try when they wish to gain access to someone's online account.
In the same way, you should not be tempted to use your birthday or that of a loved one as your password. The reason for this is that hackers are alert to the fact that such data is often used for passwords. Furthermore, if a hacker is targeting an individual, it may be fairly easy to find out that person's birthday, because such information is often on public display on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
In actual fact, the bare minimum of security, when you are trying to devise a password, is to think of a word or combination of several words that mean something to you, but which is NOT known to anyone else. You should also make the password have as many characters as possible, within reason, so as to make it as hard as possible for anyone to guess it. Even then, passwords of this type are not impossible to crack for the seasoned hacker.
Next level password security is the way to go
Did you know that passwords containing a combination of letters and numbers are a whole lot more secure than ones that contain letters of the alphabet alone? Where numbers are introduced, it is a case of the more the merrier. The rule of thumb we can apply here is to say that the more complicated and long you make a password, the more likely hackers will be unable to crack it any time soon.
In addition to putting numbers into your passwords, you might also want to consider the use of special characters such as the dollar and pound signs, the ampersand, and a number of others. These add an extra level of complexity and make the password hard to fathom for hackers.
You should also make use of capital letters in your passwords. That's because passwords are designed to be case sensitive at all times. If, for example, you chose the password "bsolgh;I", a hacker would have to type it exactly like that, i.e. with the final "I" rendered as upper case, in order to gain access to your account.
It can be seen, therefore, that passwords become much more secure when they contain not just text but numbers, too, and when they incorporate other characters and upper and lower case text. It is fair to say that only passwords that meet these criteria are reliably safe from being hacked, so this is why you should go for passwords like this.
Tips for keeping passwords safe as houses
So far, you have learned that it is vital to employ best practices when devising passwords for use on a raft of websites and when accessing financial services online. However, the best password in the world is not very secure if you allow a thief or hacker to discover what it is.
One problem with complex and very long passwords as described above is that many people find it hard as hell to memorize them. Perhaps this is why some people prefer to use dumbass pass codes like "123" and "password", i.e. because they are less easy for average folk to forget. Now, when complex passwords come into the frame, many people like to write them down so as to have something to refer to when they punch in that all-important alphanumerical sequence. But, in actual fact that's the worst strategy you can adopt, because it is not beyond the bounds of reason to imagine that a cunning hacker could one day get their hands on the notebook or crib sheet containing every last one of your hard to remember passwords. This is an undoubted flaw in the plan, but what is the solution to the problem?
When you cannot remember a password, rather than writing it in a notebook that you keep by your computer, you should write only a password hint. There must be something you can write that will drop a hint about the password without spelling the darned thing out. Furthermore, if you simply must write down a password, you should not write the name of the website concerned next to it. This is a vital precaution for dodging being hacked.
Finally, you should not be lazy with passwords and allow your internet browser to "remember" them for you. Although it might seem a great convenience to be able to get into your favorite sites without punching in a password, you should bear in mind that any thief who stole your computer would then enjoy the same convenience.