Trusted Saskatoon Computer and Website Systems Expert!
Here they share a great tip on passwords:
How safe is the key to your castle?
The keys to your castle.
In today’s world of fast moving information, data and money we are all bombarded by the ever increasing number of passwords, PIN numbers, passphrases and secret answers to secret questions we are required to remember. So what is the best solution? Have 1 password for everything or have 20 passwords and write them all down?
I visit many businesses and homes to provide computer and network support and I am constantly amazed at how many devices do not have passwords, have the factory set password, have a password which is so easy a monkey could guess it or finally the crumpled up bit of paper with 20 passwords written on. The mind boggles at how easy it could be to access and steal important information!
One of the best solutions, particularly for PIN numbers can be to use a sequence of numbers. For example, you do not want the same PIN on each of your credit cards so this is what to do. Memorize a longer number, 8 digits should do eg 25030077. Each of your cards requires 4 digits, start at different points in the sequence for each card. No need to write any numbers down.
For computers, you can have much more fun!! A great number of computers and programs these days do not necessarily use a password but rather a Passphrase. This provides for the added security of spaces in the sequence, for example, your passphrase could be ‘The Cat in the Hat’. Now, for those of you who want to take this a stage further, you can employ a very simple, but very effective, strategy.
- Choose a word or phrase. For this example, I will use the phrase ‘Burnt Orange’.
- Change any letter that resembles a number/symbol for that number/symbol eg S looks like $ so use a dollar sign where you would normally put an S; any E’s in the word, exchange them for a 3 and so on.
- Make the changes – Burnt Orange becomes Bu2nt 0r4ng3. Let’s look at a different word – Password becomes P4$$w02d. This has increased your security massively. Not only does it make it more difficult for a person to guess but also a ‘robot’ which tries to break your code has a much tougher job. And lastly, and this is the big thing, you only need one password as it is strong enough for almost anything and you do NOT need to write it down.
This editions quick tip. With Windows 8 – don’t fear the start screen. If you want to find something or start a program, hit the Windows key so that you enter the ‘Metro’ version of your Windows 8. Now start typing what you are looking for, the more you type the narrower the search becomes making it easier for you to find Apps, Docs and Settings.