Do you have a good password for use on the ‘net?
Do you use the same password on more than one website?
Would you tweet it, or add it to your Facebook status? Or might you simply write a blog post and tell everyone what it is?
Well you can do that now, because as sure as eggs is eggs, it will be stolen by hackers any time soon.
How do I know?
Well, mine has been hacked twice in the last six months. Each time it was the same social network site that permitted the breach, despite my password being unique to the site in question and being as ‘strong’ as I thought it needed to be.
For years, I had used the same password on many different sites because at the time, I’d thought that the unusualness of my ‘word’ and the fact that it contained both letters and numbers would make it safe to use. Actually, over time I began to employ several ‘words’, depending on the type of site I used. This made the passwords easier to remember.
About two years ago, I started to change all of my passwords to include a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and the odd non-alphanumeric character. However, the problem with this meant that I just had the one password again and despite being ‘super-safe’, there was a danger of it being picked up on one weaker site and used again and again by evil people.
My password system had, until today, evolved to be 50% ‘super-safe’ stem plus 50% aide-memoir, applicable to the site being used. However, for the second time this year TWITTER has allowed my 10-character mix to be cracked and once again my password regime has had to be re-visited.
5 Rules for Secure Passwords:
- The password must consist of random characters that aren’t anything recognizable.
- Each site gets a unique password.
- The greater the number of characters you can employ–upper and lower case letter (s, numbers, and special characters like punctuation and symbols–the more difficult it is for someone to crack your password.
- The longer the password, the better. A bare minimum should be 8 characters; 12 to 15 should be preferred.
- Never write down the passwords where other people could get them.
Now I will have to develop double digit, multi-capital, multi-lowercase, multi-number, multi-non-alphanumeric passwords. And how do I remember them?
I write them down! 😦
See comments for this link: http://xkcd.com/936/ (Thanks James).
Let this be fair notice to Twitter: This happens one more time and I’m gone!