How secure are your passwords?

Mashable’s article titled “38% of us Would Rather Clean a Toilet Than Think of New Password” reports that login credentials and site authentications are a hassle for many people.  In a recent Harris Interactive poll, “some 38% of us think attempting to solve world peace would be a more manageable task than trying to deal with yet another set of login credentials.”  All of this hassle makes it easier for hackers to gain access to our online accounts because we tend to either use to same passwords for multiple accounts or we forget our passwords. [1]

I find it difficult to create and remember every password for every online account that I have.  For each site that I visit, there are different sets of password rules. The rules dictate how many characters I can use; if the characters are upper case, lower case, or a mixture of both; whether or not numbers are allowed; what symbols are allowed; if a password history restriction exists; etc.

After getting all of the password rules and restrictions straight in my head, I have to come up with the most secure password that I can think of and remember. I try not to use all dictionary words.  Words found in a dictionary do not make a strong password [3]. Many times, people try to substitute numbers in for letters; Lifehacker points out that password hackers are able to isolate patterns and get around our “clever password trick” [2].

In addition to developing a secure password, Google suggests that in order to keep your passwords secure that you never write them down, do not tell anyone your password, and change it often [3].  A service called LastPass allows you to create one strong password for your LastPass account. LastPass claims that your LastPass account password is “the last password that you’ll have to remember” [4].  When you need a new password for an online account, LastPass generates a random password for you and stores it in your account.  This service is great until a hacker cracks the password to your LastPass account.

Keeping accounts secure is essential in the age we live in.  Individuals and corporations have sensitive information that lives online.  It is imperative that this information stays out of the hands identity thieves, hackers, criminals, etc.

How secure are your passwords?


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