These days, just about everyone is on the Web in one way or another. Most, if not all, of the web sites you visit several times each day, as well as the ones you have a membership with, require a password. These passwords are meant for your use only, but that doesn’t mean others can’t, and won’t, try to figure out what they are. Even though technology is constantly advancing, there will always be people that will work around the rules and figure out what your password is for at least one of the sites you visit regularly.
Strong passwords are key to keeping your online information”and in some cases, your identity”safe from hackers. Most web sites that require a password will ask you to create one using any combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and sometimes even symbols. Most passwords must be at least six characters long. A randomized password is less likely to be hacked than one using say, a pet’s name with a few numbers intertwined. Each password used should be unique and it’s always good practice to avoid using the same password for more than two web sites.
There is a simple test you can do when creating a password. It’s called the ‘SUPR’ and involves four steps with questions that will guide your password creation. The steps are as follows:
Strong: Is your password as strong as possible (within the limitations of the site rules)?
Unique: Is your password completely unique? Does it relate in any way to any of your other passwords for different sites?
Practical: Is your password practical? Do you have to keep it written somewhere so you don’t forget it?
Recent: Is your password new? When was the last time you changed it?
While some passwords may be difficult, it’s always good practice to change them at least once a month to ensure your safety on the Web.