How secure is your password?

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Sat Feb 20 20:13:24 UTC 2010

How secure is your password?
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With most websites requiring you to create an account, do you find yourself in a bit of a pickle when it comes to inventing passwords? Many people use the same password for all their online accounts and often forget the password they came up with months ago. Hands up who doesn’t feel like banging your head against the wall trying to remember the password you created months ago?

Let’s face it - everyone has problems with creating and remembering secure passwords. That’s why we decided to help.

Tips on how to create and remember your passwords:

•	Use the first letters of a sentence that you will remember, e.g. "I have 3 cats: Fluffy, Furry and Shaggy" gives: Ih3c:FF&S, or “Bouncing tigers have every right to ice-cream” becomes: Bther2I-C.
•	Take the name of the website and then add your personal twist, like your height or your friend’s home address (e.g. “AmazonOceanRd6’2”). Avoid using your own contact details like your phone number or house number.
•	Remove the vowels from a word or phrase e.g. "I like eating pancakes” becomes: Ilktngpncks”.
•	Use a phrase from your favourite book and then add the page, paragraph or chapter number.

The Do’s and dont‘s of creating passwords

•	Mix letters, numbers and symbols, and use case sensitivity (upper and lower case letters).
•	The longer the better. Use passwords that are longer than 6 characters. 
•	Change your passwords at least every 60 days, cycling the numeric values up or down makes the new password easy to remember.
•	Try copying and pasting at least some of the characters in your password - that way keyloggers won’t be able to track your keystrokes.

•	Don’t use words or phrases or numbers that have personal significance. It is very easy for someone to guess or identify your personal details like date of birth.
•	Avoid writing your password down, use a reputable password manager to manage all your passwords.
•	Do not use the same password for several logins, especially if they involve sensitive financial or other personal information.
•	Do not tell anybody your password.
•	When registering on websites that ask for your email address, never use the same password as  your email account.

Struggling to come up with secure passwords? Try our free Secure Password Generator. You can download it or use it on the website anytime you need a new password. 

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