by Paul Vaccarelli
Nowadays, we are all conscious of the dangers of identity theft. We can protect the data on our computer by password protecting our log on, and we feel a bit safer doing on-line transactions when websites ask us to set up profiles using a password only we know. But is that password safe?
The simplest rule of thumb for creating a good password is one that is hard to guess, but easy to remember. It should be hard to guess by not only a person, but password cracking software as well. Therefore, if your password is a proper name, or a word that can be found in the dictionary, your password is extremely unsafe. A password cracking program can blast through the dictionary in seconds. Replacing O’s with zeros or L’s with ones only add a small amount of time to guess your password.
An alternative to using names and words as passwords is to take the first letter of a phrase or song lyric, string them together, then replace O’s with zeros or L’s with ones. The result is a cryptic looking password that you can easily remember. For example, a password based on “Goldilocks and the three bears” can be “g1at3b”.
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Remember, the weakest link for any security system is the password. Keep this in mind when creating one.