More on creating good passwords

Creating Good Passwords

If you process credit cards in your retail operation, you should be aware of the requirement to change passwords every 90 days.  Those of you who do not take credit cards, should change your passwords frequently, too.

I have discussed what makes a good password before.  In brief, a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, such as !, #, @, etc.  

The longer the password the better.  Pick a value between 16 and 32 characters.   To help you create and use the passwords consider using a keeper program such as Keepass.   They will generate passwords for you and allow you to use the clipboard to paste them later rather than trying to enter them on the keyboard.   They also defeat key loggers that may be hidden on your system.

There are additional considerations to look at.  Recently, I have seen some articles and passwords, and found it very interesting that one of the common passwords is "qwerty".  While this may look like a fairly good choice, if you check, it is the string of letters on the third row of your keyboard.  The pattern is where the problem lies.

Anything with a pattern is not a good choice for a password.  Patterns on the keyboard (such as "qwerty"), and sequence patterns (such as "abcde") make very poor choices.  Adding such a pattern to a base word is not much better.  Something like "someword123" is little improvement over using "someword" as your password.

Password hacking software is getting more sophisticated all the time.  Giving it easy targets, by using predictable patterns for your password, is asking for trouble.  Take a little time, and put some thought into it, and you will be able to come up with a good, complex, password that you will be able to remember.

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