05 April 2011

Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology to help protect your personal information.

Keep your passwords in a secure place, and out of plain view. Don't share your passwords on the InternetG, over email, or on the phone. Your Internet Service Provider (ISPG) should never ask for your password.
In addition, without your knowledge, hackers may try to figure out your passwords to gain access to your computerG. You can make it tougher for them by:
  • Using passwords that have at least eight characters and include numerals and symbols.
  • Avoiding common words: some hackers use programs that can try every word in the dictionary.
  • Not using your personal information, your login name, or adjacent keys on the keyboard as passwords.
  • Changing your passwords regularly (at minimum, every 90 days).
  • Using a different password for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords with difficulty based on the value of the information contained in each.
One way to create a strong password is to think of a memorable phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password, converting some letters into numbers that resemble letters. For example, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" would become HmWc@wC.
To further increase the security of your online identity and to help protect you from account hi-jacking, take advantage of stronger authenticationG tools wherever available. This may take the form of two-factor authentication – the combination of a password or PIN number (something you know) with a tokenG, smart card, or even a biometric device (something you have). Stronger authentication can also come from a behind-the-scenes identity-verification process, which uses various data to establish whether or not a user is genuine. Ask your bank, your regular online retailers, and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if they offer stronger authentication tools for more secure transactions.

AbhiShek SinGh
Founder of 'TheHackingArticles'. Cyber Security Analyst, Cyber Security Researcher, and Software Engineer. Follow 'AbhiShek SinGh' on Facebook , Twitter or Google+ or via Email

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