The Ten Commandments of Passwords

In a recent post I discussed the startling revelation that one Facebook account is fraudulently accessed every 140 milliseconds– approximately 600,000 accounts everyday! This amazing fact highlights the necessity for extreme caution regarding online security.

How can you protect yourself from those who would like to break into your accounts?

The first, and probably most important, line of defense are the passwords you use. If you use weak passwords, or fail to manage your passwords properly, it is only a matter of time before your accounts are compromised.

So to help you protect your valueable information online, here is the Digital Sojourner’s Ten Commandments of Passwords:

  1. Thou shalt not use the same password for every account (if someone manages to get your password for one account, they now have your password for every account).
  2. Thou shalt not write your passwords down.
  3. Thou shalt change your passwords regularly.
  4. Thou shalt use passwords of 8 or more characters (with each added character the number of possible passwords increases exponentially, those attempting to crack your password are using high speed computer programs that try hundreds of potential passwords every minute– the more characters you use, the longer it will take).
  5. Thou shalt use a mixture of upper & lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols (again, with each type of character used the potential number of passwords increases exponentially).
  6. Thou shalt never use a real word from any language — especially “password”.
  7. Thou shalt never use personal information such as birth dates, family names, or anything else you have ever posted on Facebook.
  8. Thou shalt never tell anyone your password.
  9. Thou shalt exercise extreme caution with the password to your email account (after all, that is where all of those “password reset” emails from all of your other accounts are sent to. Someone breaks into your email account they can now break into ANY other account of yours!)
  10. Thou shalt use a high quality password manager. After reading this list you’re probably thinking– I could never do all of that for all of my accounts! And, of course, you are right– you can’t, no one can. Thankfully there are several excellent password management tools that are available. We will take a look at some of the options in a future post.
No password is invincible, even the Pentagon has been hacked, however if you keep the above tips in mind  you should be able deter even the most dedicated of would be thieves.  Do you have some additional password tips?  Let us know about them in the comments section.
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Who Hacked My Facebook?

FacebookThe All Facebook blog has a fascinating post today that carries an implied warning for digital sojourners.

Everyday there are 600,000 unauthorized Facebook logins. Simply amazing. This translates in to one compromised Facebook account every 140 milliseconds. Yikes!

You can read the entire post here.

This raises a very important issue for digital sojourners: online security.

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