Securing Your Passwords: R@nd0m Ch@ract3rs @re Y0ur Fr1end

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎02-16-2012 12:43 PM (9,959 Views)

For creating a secure password, Agents typically recommend one of two strategies:

 

Route one: Take two completely random dictionary words (that mean nothing to you) and combine them. . It also helps to capitalize at least one of the letters. Then throw a few random numbers between those two words, or at the end, and you’ve created a pretty secure password. For example:

 

Teeth + server + 1890 = Teeth18server90 (far more secure than password123)

 

Route two: Use a password generator to create a VERY secure password that would take days/months/years for someone to hack. Unless you’re a corporation, government agency or other high-value target, hackers typically won’t try for that long. The downside to this route is that these passwords are much harder to memorize, but, if you keep the password under 10 characters, it CAN be done. PCTools has my personal favorite online password generator. It’s secure, free, and easy to use. Find it here: https://secure.pctools.com/guides/password/.

 

To help you remember your very secure password, you may want to use a password manager. These handy tools securely store all of your passwords on your PC or Mac  so you don’t have to manually enter them when they’re needed.  Tools like LastPass can store and change passwords for all of your favorite websites, and it is available on a variety of platforms – Mac, Windows, Linux, and most smartphones – and works well with  a variety of web browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer). It is key to NOT use one of these programs on a shared or public computer because anyone using the machine would automatically have access to all your passwords.

 

Finally, we recommend you change your password(s) every month or two to avoid situations where your password is compromised, and you don’t find out until it’s too late (emails sent out on your behalf, Facebook data erased or copied, money stolen). The easiest way to remember this is to set a calendar reminder. If you use a calendar program like Outlook, iCal, or Google Calendar, just create a recurring event (once a month, or every two months) to alert you with a reminder to change your most important passwords. (Extra tip: Include the links above in the event, so you can have quick access to the sites to change and/or manage them.)

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