Seven Ways To Secure Your Personal Passwords

We are constantly using passwords on a daily basis. From accessing emails, to listening to our music, to checking our account balance, we may not think about it but passwords are a huge part of our lives. Hackers, however, do think about this. In fact, the password is becoming one of the easiest ways to break into a personal information system. We may think that passwords protect us from hackers. Unfortunately, though, no password is safe. The only thing a password can do for us is to limit exposure to immediate and easy access.

In order to do that, it's essential to change passwords and account names frequently. It's also important to work to design a password system that will shield you from some of the easiest methods of attack. Here are some of the best things to do to create a password that is as secure as possible

Set up bogus security answers.
Security answers are meant to add an extra level of protection against hackers. The only problem is that this information is very easily found with a simple Google search. Common form security questions relate to your birthday, your friends' names, your hometown, your pet's name, or you first car. It's easy enough for anyone with sophisticated search skills to track this information down. The best way to add extra coverage here is to choose bogus answers to the questions. Instead of answering "San Francisco" as your hometown, answer with "June Bug" or a less-easily crackable combination of letters and numbers.

Have extra passcodes sent to your mobile.
If a hacker has already gained access to your phone account, this one will not be too helpful, but you may as well add as many defenses as possible when it comes to your private information. There are many sites that allow you to have a passcode sent to your personal cell if the site is entered from an unknown computer. Setting up these road blocks can help a little in preventing a hack.

Never use the same user name or password twice.
This is where you can get yourself into the most trouble, and is the absolute first thing to take care of as far as web security. Once a hacker is into one account, they can often find all the information they need to get into any other personal account they desire. Even sites as innocuous as Amazon or Hallmark have information that can be used to access a bank or email account. And, if you use the same password and account name for several different accounts, you are automatically letting hackers right through the door.

Make your password as long as possible.
Basically, the longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Many of us try to keep them down to the minimum requirements so they are easier to remember, but that just makes them more susceptible to a break in. Instead, use the maximum allowable amount of characters, and mix them up frequently.

Stop using easy number/letter replacements.
Using combinations of letters and numbers is essential, but not when you're using number only as an easy representation of a letter. Easy substitutions, like 'pa55w0rd' or 'w3ird,' are programmed to automatically be scanned by hacking software.

Never use full words.
Full words simply will not cut it if you want to have a remotely safe password. Scanners can check for every word in the dictionary in minutes, so it will take hardly any time to sniff out a full word. And don't fool yourself into thinking a full word with numbers behind it will be any more safe. Number combinations are just as easy.

Use all characters available.
When you create your password, make sure to use every type of character you have at your disposal. Use both lower case and upper case letters, numbers, and as many special characters as you can. This makes it extremely difficult for software to try every possible combination. It's not impossible, but it's much more difficult.

About The Author 
This is a guest post by Silvia Brooks, She is a writer for  homesecurity  and is a private security consultant who is dedicated in spreading knowledge about the importance of personal security in an increasingly digital world.

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