Monday, October 25, 2010

Keeping your password safe

Dunno how someone got Christa's/Buff's/Katie's accounts but here are some tips to keep you safe:

1 - NEVER NEVER NEVER enter any passwords, especially banking information if you are connected to an unsecure wireless.  If you are unsure if it's unsecure, don't do it.

2 - Don't ever use your spouse's name, your birthday, his/her birthday, your hometown, or anything else that is easy to find as your password.  There are machines out there that will compile that information (available online mostly) and automatically try combinations of it on your accounts to try to hack in.

3 - When you do have a good password, put some non-alpha characters in it somewhere.  For example if you like "forest", make your password "&forest1" or "for*est".  The longer your PW the better. Change it up once in a while.  Go from "for*est" to "fore$t" etc. etc.

4 - If your password is so complicated you have to write it down's too complicated.  Make it something you can remember without writing it down or [shudder] keeping it as a note in your iPhone, etc.

5 - If the URL you are at when you are entering your ID/PASSWORD doesn't start with HTTPS:// then DON'T TYPE YOUR PASSWORD.....EVER.  If it just starts HTTP:// it is totally unsecure. (In your gmail account, go to SETTINGS and set it to always use https)


Chad said...

A couple of other thoughts: Information you post on facebook is basically public knowledge, even if you mark it as only visible to friends. Facebook is notorious for bad security and allowing random people to see private information.

Also, the trick to use numbers that look like letters is well-known. Most "hackers" will guess "forest" and will also try combinations of things like "f0r3$t" if they suspect that you might like forests.

Personally, I like to use short sentences with the special characters. I also have a password that is just a series of random numbers & letters that I memorized.

Cambrie said...

question: the home I work at has an unsecured wireless connection. But the only 3 people in the home know next to nothing about computers (I introduced the internet to one of them, 1 is a stroke victim, and the other is 78) Am I still not safe on the unsecured connection even considering they are no threat?

Gramps said...

Answer: It is very unsafe. Anyone in the next house or sitting outside in a car could get your password etc.