With the amount of sites and secure networks getting hacked recently, it’s high time that everyone starts taking their private information and its security more seriously. While you can’t help it if, say, someone hacks into your bank’s main data structure, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your private accounts remain secure and uncompromised.
I know you’ve all heard that you should keep multiple unique passwords for your various online accounts, but seriously, use multiple passwords. Despite the common pervasive knowledge that you should do this or risk getting hacked and losing everything, many people refuse to make multiple passwords. It’s not like it has to be a completely random slew of characters for each password.
At the very least, use unique passwords for your email and financial accounts. If anyone hacks one of your less sensitive accounts (say, Reddit or something like that), the first thing they will try to do is try that password in the email registered for that account. If you have one password for pretty much everything, think long and hard about this. Once someone hacks into your email, they will probably have some bank and credit card information; maybe enough to log in if you use the same password again for those accounts.
Making Smart Passwords
I have a system that I use to ensure that all of my passwords are unique that doesn’t require me to memorize hundreds of passwords. In this system, you really only have to memorize two or three passwords: One for your email, one for your financial accounts, and one for everything else.
Creating Password Trunks
At the center of my system is the idea of central keyword (or, better yet, keywords) that forms the basis of a password. So, for my all my accounts but email and finance, let’s say my central keyword is “MountainDew”. But this trunk seems a bit too easy to crack, so I think it’s a good idea to replace vowels with numbers and characters, making the new password “M1@nt3$nD5w”.
How am I going to memorize this? Simple, all I did was replace the vowels with characters going across the keyboard, pressing shift on every even number, resulting in the characters “1@3$5″ that I used. You don’t have to make it as complicated as I did either; “M1!nt1!nD1w”(only pressing 1 and alternating shift) would still be very strong.
Modify the Trunk’s Head and Tail
Now that we have established a trunk to the password, let’s modify the head and tail to make it unique for each account. What I do is take elements from each account and include them at the beginning and end of the trunk of the password; you can also put variations in the middle of the trunk, particularly if it is already two words.
Let’s say that I want my “MountainDew” password (I took away the vowel obstructions for the purpose of clarity in this tutorial) to be unique for my Facebook account. I can simply take the first two and last two characters of the account I’m logging into (Facebook) and wrap them around the trunk. So “MountainDew” would become “FaMountainDewok.” But for Myspace, the password would become “MyMountainDewce.”
I used simple examples for clarity’s sake, but feel free to use other elements of your account, such as your username, and incorporate it into the head or tail of your password. And of course, doing vowel obstruction is another great security measure. Hopefully with these tips, you will never fall victim to hackers trying to steal your personal information.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.