Whether surfing, shopping, researching or socializing, more often than not, while you are using the internet, you’ll be prompted to create a password-protected account on a website just to complete an action. While it’s tempting to create simple, easy to remember combinations – abc123, password, qwerty – doing so also makes it hassle-free for a hacker to infiltrate your computer. With fraudulent attacks on personal computers happening every minute, it’s to your benefit to increase your Internet protection with more dynamic passwords.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to make your password more difficult to decode, including:
- The longer the better. If password terms call for using 4-10 characters, use at least the median (the middle number in a set) amount. In this set – 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – starting with four and ending with 10, seven is the middle number.
- Random acts of kindness. Just another situation where random acts create kindness; in this case, to you and your Internet protection. Most password terms mandate that you use a specified combination of characters. For example, a site may call for using 4-10 characters, with at least one uppercase letter and at least one symbol, in which case you may end up with something like: a5t!8Gr. Whether required or not, the best password is completely random.
- Play on words. One of the more creative ways to generate a password is to play with your words. Choose a word easy for you to remember and encrypt it. For example, your pet’s name – Charlie – could be encrypted as Ch4r1!e. Easy to remember, harder to hack. Just make sure it meets password requirements for the site.
- The more the merrier. While it might be cumbersome, for your online safety and privacy, it’s best to create a new password for each site you use. Just be sure you keep track of which password goes with each site. In most cases, if you forget it, most sites can email you your password or send you a link to create a new one. Finally, change your password often, at least four times a year.
- Keep them safe. Whether you keep track of your passwords in a spreadsheet, a written log, on your smartphone or through another method, keep them out of access from others. No matter how much you trust a friend, coworker or relative, never share your password. While they may have the best intentions, you never want to be in a situation that compromises your safety and privacy.
Creating a dynamic password is just one of the many ways you can make your online experience safer and is a great place to proactively protect yourself from getting hacked. Other ways to increase your online safety and privacy include: installing Internet security software, performing regular maintenance of your computer’s systems and staying informed of the latest online scams.
Sponsored by PC Tools™ Internet Security.