Your passwords are the most common way to prove your identity when using websites, email accounts and your computer itself (via User Accounts). The use of strong passwords is therefore essential in order to protect your security and identity. The best security in the world is useless if a malicious person has a legitimate user name and password.
Passwords are commonly used in conjunction with your username. However, on secure sites they may also be used alongside other methods of identification such as a separate PIN and/or memorable information. In some cases, you will also be asked to enter only certain characters of your password, for additional security.
People impersonating you could commit fraud and other crimes, including:
Accessing your bank account
Purchasing items online with your money
Impersonating you on social networking and dating sites
Sending emails in your name
Accessing the private information held on your computer
- Always use a password.
- To create a strong password, simply choose three random words.
- Numbers, symbols and combinations of upper and lower case can be used if you feel you need to create a stronger password.
There are alternatives, with no hard and fast rules, but you could consider the following suggestions:
- Choose a password with at least eight characters (more if you can, as longer passwords are harder for criminals to guess or break), a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and keyboard symbols such as @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ +. (for example SP1D3Rm@n – a variation of spiderman, with letters, numbers, upper and lower case). However, be aware that some of these punctuation marks may be difficult to enter on foreign keyboards. Also remember that changing letters to numbers (for example E to 3 and i to 1) are techniques well-known to criminals.
- A line of a song that other people would not associate with you.
- Someone else's mother's maiden name (not your own mother's maiden name).
- Pick a phrase known to you, for example "Orbital.Net alway on, high speed Internet," and take the first character from each word to get 'O.Nao,hsI'
Use the following passwords:
- Your username, actual name, or business name.
- Family members’ or Pets’ names.
- Your or family birthdays.
- Favourite football or F1 team, or other words easy to work out with a little background knowledge.
- The word ‘Password’.
- Numerical sequences.
- A single common place dictionary word, which could be cracked by common hacking programs.
- When choosing numerical passcodes, do not use ascending or descending numbers or duplicated numbers, or easily recognisable keypad patterns (such as 14789 or 2580).
- Never disclose your passwords to anyone else. If you think that someone else knows your password, change it immediately.
- Don't enter your password when others can see what you are typing.
- Use a different password for every website. If you have one password, a criminal has access to everything.
- Don’t recycle passwords (for example password2, password3).
- If you must write passwords down encrypt them in a way that is familiar to you but makes them indecipherable by others.
- An alternative to writing down passwords is to use an online password vault or safe (Seek recommendations).
- Do not send your password by email. No reputable firm will ask you to do this.
The fact that you should use different passwords for each of your accounts can make them very difficult to remember. Consider using one of the many password vaults available on the internet, but read reviews and get recommendations.
Everybody who uses a computer should be assigned their own user account so that only they can access their files and programs. Each user account should be accessible only by entering a username and password in order to safeguard users’ privacy. Other user account features can also be set up in user accounts – including parental controls.
Do not use an account with administrator privileges for everyday use, as malware could assume administrator rights. Even if you are the only user, set up an administrator account to use when you need to carry out tasks such as installing programs or changing the system configuration, and another ‘standard user’ account as your regular account. If you are not logged in as administrator, you will be prompted to enter an administrator password when you install a new device driver or program. You can manage user accounts in Windows Control Panel.
A forward thinking ISP
Here at Orbital, we have spent the last 18 years developing systems that evolve with new technology to keep our customers in the forefront when running communications for their Business. We pride ourselves on always being one step ahead and invest a lot of time on research and development to ensure we can always meet our customers needs and expectations.