Passwords are everywhere, and we have loads of them. Most people just see them as a pain in the arse, another thing to remember, and get fed up with all the uppercase, lowercase, numbers, special characters….JUST LET ME IN.
But there are some things you need to know. Just stick to these few rules and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.
Don’t use the same password everywhere
Let’s say your password is Monkey1, and you use this for your email account, eBay, Paypal, Online Banking, Netmums forum, Facebook, Twitter, and other online sites (e.g. bettysbakeoffforum.com).
Now, let’s say that Mr Hacker has managed to hack bettysbakeoffforum.com and has extracted all the usernames and passwords – afterall, Betty doesn’t have the funds to invest in a state of the art cyber security defense (but she does make good cupcakes).
In the data Mr Hacker stole, it also has your email address.
Step 1, he logs into your email account with your password – which happen to be the same
Step 2, he trawls your emails and finds out the other sites you use and details of those usernames
Step 3, he uses those usernames and the same password and logs into your paypal account
Step 4, he transfers a load of money to his bank account
Step 5, he tries your online banking, but let’s say you were clever and used a different password (Well done!)
Step 6, he clicks the “forgot your password” button which sends an email to you to reset your password
Step 7, Mr Hacker receives this email (as he is in your email) and resets your password
Step 8, Mr Hacker transfers what is left of your Friday night gin & tonic fund into his account
Whilst the list above is simplified a little, by using the same password you are giving someone all the keys to your online kingdom.
So, Don’t reuse passwords
So if your password is Monkey1, why not append it with something about the site you use, e.g.
Not only does this make it unique, it also makes it longer, which makes it more secure
Make it lengthy and complex
But how do you remember a long and complex password? try something like this.
Lets say there are four of you in your family : Jack, Jill, Bob, Ben
Take the first two letters of each name : JaJiBoBe
Add their year of birth : Ja82Ji85Bo12Be14
Separate them with a special character : Ja82-Ji85-Bo12-Be14
Then append it with your specific website details : Ja82-Ji85-Bo12-Be14Facebook
An easy to remember, long, complex, and unique password