Articles – A Secure Password

A Secure Password

This has got to be the most overlooked item on your security list! Just review what password(s) are you using now? For your e-mail login, FTP, ATM, Company Network Login and all other system you have to log into. That can easily be at least 10 passwords!

We tend to use a single password for everything so we don’t have to remember so many of them, now this can be a problem! Why? If someone gets hold of your password, he can access everything else! And if this guy is your colleague, imagine the kind of damage he can do, since he uses most of the systems you are using.

Based on many source including this one (The Hackers Diaries), the most classic and common way of obtaining someone’s password is, peering over his shoulder when he is keying it in. You think, yah sure! Well, believe it or not, that’s the most effective way too, no software to install to track your passwords and it’s flawless. So be careful, when you’re keying in your password the next time, that no one is “peering” over.

Preventing Theft of your password

Preventing theft of your password is actually simple and having a hard-to-guess password is a good start, basically, choose a password that combines alphabets and numbers. Yes, you have heard that umpteen time but you just can’t be bothered right? It is told to you for very good reasons and stop whining, arguing and moaning when all your files are deleted some someone who obtain your password through malicious means.

Ok, we’ll show you how to have a good password, for example, a password such as your spouse name is no good, such as “david” or “tecksoon”. As many would have known your spouse through some events organised by your company etc. So, adding a number say you wedding anniversary’s date into your spouse name is a good password, such as da220194vid, 22nd Jan 1994 in between the name David and so on. That’s hard to guess and a little hard to remember at first but as you use it often, you’ll get used to it.

Another way of generating your own password is using the first letters of a sentence. For example:

1. My Favorite World Cup Team Is Germany – And you’ll have MFWCTIG again, hard to guess but easy to remember!

2. The World’s Number One Enemy Is Now Osama Bin Laden – TWNOEINOBL – *grin*, isn’t that easy!

or lastly, my favourite (but I don’t use it in case you wanna try hacking my stuffs haha)

My Dog Is Named Osama – MDINO hahaha

Changing your password often

This is also not really practiced (ha I got you there didn’t I), changing your password at least once every 1 to 3 months is important. So even someone that has got hold of your password but he didn’t managed to use it within say 1 month due to some reasons, you would have change it already!

If you intend to have a few different passwords for different things that you need to log into, try Password Pal. Password Pal is a password database program that stores all your passwords. You just need to remember a Master Password (which you better not forget!) in order to access all other passwords. Don’t worry, all password that are store within this program is encrypted, meaning people who try opening your password database file will not be able to see the passwords but a big junk file filled with funny characters.

Others:

Too lazy to generate your own “good” password (even when it’s so simple?)? Use the following:

Here’s a good online password generator:

http://www.winguides.com/security/password.php

Here’s one that can be downloaded onto your PC:

http://linuxhelpers.virtualave.net/spg/

Remember, a good password prevents a lot of things and you won’t want people from getting your passwords so:

1. Choose a good password

2. Change it regularly after 1 – 3 months

– Contributed by etegration
22 June 2002

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