May 22, 2015
Passwords protect your privacy; unfortunately, they can also be cracked.
Passwords prevent criminals from draining your bank account and running up charges on your credit card. They ensure that emails from your account are actually sent by you, and that posts on your Facebook page are authentic.
But passwords can be cracked and if this happens, your private life becomes public. Creating solid passwords and keeping them safe isn’t easy, but it can be done. Here are the 5 most important rules for keeping your passwords safe:
1. Keep your passwords private.
Never share your passwords, not even with your closest friends. Even if the people you trust don’t deliberately misuse your passwords, they might write them some place that’s not safe, or accidentally reveal them.
2. Use different passwords, everywhere.
Just like you don’t use a single key to open your car, house and safety deposit box, you shouldn’t use the same password for different accounts. Because if your email password gets cracked, and you’ve used the same password for your bank account and credit card, then you’ll have a very big problem on your hands.
3. The longer the better.
Long passwords are better than short ones. Passwords that contain a variety of lower case letters, upper case letters, symbols and numbers are best. Passphrases (passwords based on a unique phrase known only to you) are ideal.
4. Be unique.
The world’s most popular passwords include qwerty, 12345678 and the word Password. Avoid these passwords, and others like them, at all costs. Passwords based on keyboard patterns, numerical sequences, or dictionary words are weak and easy to crack.
5. Don’t enter passwords on public computers.
Public computers may be infected with malware that copies passwords or logs keystrokes. If you’re in public, surf the internet using your own device and use an app that safeguards you on public WiFi.
For more rules to keep your passwords safe, read ZoneAlarm’s blog: