Password revisited sounds like a cool title, doesn’t it? It’s true – I’ve written posts about passwords before. (You can see how many HERE.) Still, we have some new readers, plus I know some of you are still not following the rules when it comes to passwords! How do I know that? Easy. Every week, Joyce and I get emails from customers whose email account has been hacked. We then have to call them on the phone and help them straighten things out. Or, we have customers log into Remote Technical Support because they need help resetting a password that has been compromised.
With those things in mind, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to passwords:
Finally, I’ll share how we create strong passwords here are 4KCC. We take a four-word phrase we can remember. One of mine is ‘I love Hershey’s chocolate.” (For the first 43 years of my life, I lived within aroma distance of the Hershey Chocolate factory in Pennsylvania so, unfortunately, this phrase has a lot of truth in it.) We use the first letter of each word as the basis for our password. So, the password begins looking like this:
I l H c
Next, we take 4 numbers that we can easily remember but not Social Security parts or PINs. For my example, I’ll use our church’s numerical address: 2221. I place the numbers between the letters. Now, our password looks like this:
I 2 l 2 H 2 c 1
For more security, I’ll add a symbol. This can be added before or after the password and multiple symbols can be used if you desire. For this example, I just add one at the end. Now, the password looks like this:
I 2 l 2 H 2 c 1 *
A couple of notes: 1) I don’t use spaces in my passwords – many sites don’t allow it and spaces can sometimes cause confusion. However, I used spaces in my example just so you could see more clearly; 2) Eight (8) characters should be a minimum for passwords but more is better. For instance, my most secure password is 18 characters; 3) Some sites or apps limit the number of characters you may have in a password; 4) When you look at the final example above, you might say to yourself, “I could never remember that!” But, you are actually just remembering a phrase you like, four numbers you like, and a symbol.
Now, stop reading and go fix those passwords!