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Choosing a Good Password

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Last updated November 11th, 2010 by Victoria Pal in Tech

PasswordOften the only protection we have online are our passwords. Since passwords are used everywhere - from online banking to common blogs - they are an integral part from of our online presence. Private information is successfully becoming the most valuable resources to come by, so a lot of people are getting more and more paranoid about their privacy.

Each individual spending at least a couple of hours a week online has at least a handful of passwords to remember. It is, however, surprising how most people are still quite negligent when it comes to creating a good password. You will be surprised how people fall for cliches. Well, after all, this is what makes a cliche what it is - a lot of people backing it up.

The first mistake many people do when they choose a password is to think of something common or personal, something a lot of people are familiar with, and could easily guess. The second big mistake is using this easily attainable password on every single profile that they have.

The truth is that passwords are not that hard to break,  at leasts common passwords, that is. A simple word or a combination of words from the English language are probably the easiest ones to break by using common sense or a relevantly simple dictionary attack . With computers becoming faster and more powerful at an exponential rate, brute force attack is becoming accessible to more people. The latter is nothing you should worry about when trying to come up with a password for your wi-fi router though.

We performed a test with a simple 8-character letters-only password on a wi-fi router. It took 26 days before someone broke it, and began using our Internet connection for free. However, the trouble one can get into is far more serious than simply slower connection. People can do a lot of illegal things through your IP address and leave you to take the blame.

Adding a simple numerical character or a symbol make the password several times harder to break. Here you can find some great tips on how to choose a strong password. Also be sure to check this list of common passwords so you know what to steer away from.

If you run a website or a blog and want to take your site’s security one step further, consider remote monitoring on top of a good password. Our website monitoring service can even alert you if your your site is not performing properly while you are away.

So, tell us - what is the worst password you ever seen?

Victoria Pal

She doesn't like queuing (particularly at Wimbledon). Likes traveling, tennis and reading. Loves working as a Project Manager at WebSitePulse.

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