Thursday, May 7, 2020

What's in a Password ~ Jean C. Gordon

I think I'm safe in saying that these days we'd all like to feel a little safer. I have a small way you can. When was the last time you changed your passwords? If the answer is "I can't remember" or "never," today is the day to do it. Today is World Password Day.

Some Basic Tips

Choosing a password that's both strong and easy to remember may seem tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some basic tips from Boston University for setting passwords:
  • Use a mix of alphabetical and numeric characters.
  • Use a mixture of upper- and lowercase; passwords are case sensitive.
  • Use symbols if allowed
  • Choose a phrase, but use use only the consonants. For example: "So Many Books. So Little Time," becomes SmbSlt. Add a couple numbers, maybe your pet's birth year, and you have SmbSlt2016
  • Make the letter part of your password a combination of two unrelated words, such as shoeweaving, if you love shoes and know how to weave. 
  • Replace a letter with another letter, symbol or combination, but don’t be too obvious about it, such as replacing o with 0 or b with 2 or i with 1. 
  • Makeup an easily phonetically pronounceable nonsense word, such as, Son-SetYell-0.
  • Use Two words separated by a non-alphabetic, non-numeric, or punctuation character, such as Moms@%LapTop9.

Combine as many of these techniques as possible to come up with something you can remember that's a minimum of eight characters long.

What Not To Use

Here are some words and combinations not to use.

  • Your name in any form:  first, middle, last, maiden, spelled backwards, nickname or initials.
  • Part of your userid or name.
  • Any common name, such as, Sue, Joe.
  • Passwords of fewer than eight characters.
  • The name of a close relative, friend, or pet.
  • Your phone or office number, address, birthday, or anniversary.
  • Any all-numeral passwords, such as, your license-plate number, social-security number.
  • Names from popular culture
  • A single word either preceded or followed by a digit, a punctuation mark, up arrow, or space.
  • Words or phrases that do not mix upper and lower case, or do not mix letters or numbers, or do not mix letters and punctuation.
  • Any word that exactly matches a word in a dictionary, forward, reversed, or pluralized, with just some or all of the letters capitalized

Do I have your thoughts whirling? Have fun and surf safe.

And Don't Forget to . . .

Along with inviting you to review and change your passwords, I'm also inviting you to the Sweet Romance Reads Author's Annual Mother's Day Party. All you need to do to take part in all the fun, games, and prizes is be a member of the Sweet Romance Reads Cafe on Facebook. Sign up HERE.

I'll be hosting 6:15 to 6:30 pm. See you there.

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  1. A timely post. Thanks for sharing, Jean.

  2. Thank you, Jean. Lots of helpful information in your post.

  3. Picking a good password is almost as hard as remembering one! Thanks for the great info!