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How Safe is Your Current Password?

February 15, 2017

Creating Safe PasswordsCreating an email, signing up for online banking, subscribing to an online news portal, and basically anything that you do online requires that you create a password. In order for your account to be safe from invasion and hackers, you are advised to create what is considered a safe password. What exactly is a safe password and what do you need to do in order to create one?

A safe or secure password is one that is difficult to guess. This means that these should not have any elements in them that people can easily guess from common details about you. For example, if you are a redhead and your birthday is June 15, 1989, do not create a password that says ginger61589. While the numeric code may seem difficult to crack in your opinion, the fact that you have red hair and you were born on 6.15.89 is not that much of a secret either.

There are a few ways for you to create safe and secure passwords, and here are some tips that may help you in doing just that:

Use punctuation marks and other symbols in your passwords – not everyone uses this tactic, and that is truly sad. How difficult is it to add a # or a ! or a $ into your password anyway? The simple addition of these underutilized keys on your keyboard can actually make your passwords more difficult to guess. Even if you use the example stated above, you can create an easy to remember but difficult to guess password, like #ginger!61589, or ?ginger61589#.

Alternate the lowercase and capital letters in your codes – this is another underutilized tactic in creating hard to guess passwords. Still using the same password we created earlier, you can make this more difficult to guess by typing it this way – gINgeR61589. You can also switch it up by putting the numbers in before the letters, but still with the use of mixed uppercase and lowercase letters.

Use symbols in the place of letters – if you look at your computer keyboard, you will notice that a few letters can actually be substituted by some of the symbols there. For example, the letter S can be substituted by $, the letter I can be replaced by !, and the letter A can be replaced by @ or by ^.

What Not to Do When Creating New Passwords

Aside from what to do, there are a few things that you should avoid when creating passwords for your accounts. Here are some of them:

*Do not use the same passwords for multiple accounts, particularly those that are important to you, such as your email and your online banking accounts.

*Do not create passwords that carry personal information, like your name or your birthdate.

*Try to avoid using passwords that can be seen sequentially on your keypad, like qwerty1234, or asdf0987.

*Try not to create passwords with repeating alphanumeric symbols. Double letters and double numbers are usually easier to guess.

*Do not share your passwords with anybody, unless they share the same account or email with you.

Also, do not write your passwords down. If you have a hard time remembering all your passwords, get a password manager that can help keep these organized and safe for you.
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– Ray Kubick, Northwestern Mutual

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