Wayne Adult Community Center

From the September, 2006 Cyberspace News



Making Passwords Safer

Nowadays, passwords are an essential. You need passwords for computer-related tasks and for much of the business you do over the telephone, such as financial transactions.

Passwords are one of the most common ways of identifying yourself. Passwords that are easy to guess are invitations to hackers. A compromised password allows crooks to impersonate you online and gain access to your data. At worst, weak passwords can expose you to identify theft.

It's therefore essential that you use strong passwords. But what makes them strong? The following are key ingredients:

Use at least eight characters; more is always better;

Include uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols;

Avoid names and dictionary words.

Your end result should look random. A strong password might look like this:

dxedh@M$dk07

The problem with that is, it's hard to memorize. So the trick is to create a password that seems random, but means something to you. And it's easier than you think.

First, think of a sentence or phrase you can remember easily. Avoid famous quotes that can be found easily on the Web. Then, take the first letter of each word. For example: "I think Cyberspace News in 2006 is great" would translate into the password:

Itcni2ig

Then break that password to include numbers and symbols in a meaningful way. So the finished product might look like this:

It$cn@i2ig

Find out how difficult your password is for hackers by logging on to (note the absence of the www in this web address): 

http://lastbit.com/pswcalc.asp

This site estimates how long your password could stand up to a common computer attack.

Lastly, to come up with another password to use at another site, just add one or two letters of the site's name to your strong password.

Source: www. komando.com