Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Strong Passwords STOP the Bad Guys! 4 Tips + Password Strength Checker

20,000+ email users across  Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, and Yahoo had their account ids and passwords posted on the internet!

This disturbing situation can be made worse if you are using the same password across many accounts, including your online banking.

The computer security firm, Sophos, did a survey and found that only 19% of people use a different password for each site they go to.

We have busy lives and it is tough to remember passwords.  That is why we are providing you with easy tips to create a unique and strong password.  The best way to put a STOP to these cyberthugs is to create  strong passwords.

STOP Tips:

S: Special characters such as exclamation points and numbers  

Avoid using personal information.
o Examples:  Any part of your name, address, high school, birthday, Social Security number, pet  

Avoid using sequences
o Examples:  “12345” or “ABCDE” or “AAA” or “Password”

If your web site supports it, try to use special characters and/or mixing upper and lower case
o Examples:  @, $, &, *

T: Think of a phrase and pick the first letter of each word to build your base password
Longer passwords are preferred, at least 8 characters

O: One time – only use each password on one account 
Create a different password for each of the different sites you visit

P: Protect your password, never write it down and leave it next to your computer, never give it out via an email or over the phone
If you cannot remember your passwords, consider writing them down and keeping them in a home safe that you keep locked
Never leave them on a post it note next to your PC

Sample Password Using STOP Cybercriminal tips,
Using the phrase:  Fall-beautiful leaves and yummy apples.
o fblaya
Combined with the other rules it becomes:
o F-Bl1&9Ya@

If you would like to test the strength of your password try the Microsoft site’s free online password checker at:


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