By: Paul Temcio
Do you know someone who has been a victim of identity theft, fraudulent bank charges or had their email hacked? The internet is one of the main tools that criminals use to cheat, steal and victimize people when it comes to money. There are programs and apps and subscription services all designed to help you keep your online and personal information secure. I recommend checking some out and seeing if there is one that is right for you. For now, I am going to tell you one of the easiest and surefire ways of avoiding hackers and that is to change your passwords. I am also going to give you some tips and tricks on designing passwords that are more hacker free than others.
Secret Tips to Developing Hacker Free Passwords
Change Your Passwords Often
Most companies require their employees to change their passwords regularly. I suggest that you change you passwords every three months for sites storing your personal information and especially any site that stores your financial information and access to credit card or banking numbers.
Don’t Use the Same or Similar Passwords on Multiple Accounts
It is time consuming and frustrating when you are trying to log in to your site and you can’t remember your password. This is why many of us use the same password for multiple sites. We also tend to use variations of the same password to help us remember them. This is bad for you and good for hackers. It is better to keep passwords stored in a safe place and have to refer to them at times then it is to deal with the crisis of having your financial life turned upside down.
Develop Passwords That Are Nonsense or Obscure
It is cliche to use your child’s birth date, the name of your pet or the college you graduated from when developing passwords. If you want to use a real date or name or word for your password that is still fine, but add in some numbers and special characters to make it look like nonsense. You can also capitalize some of the letters and not others. For example: if you want to use your favorite vacation spot “Cayman Islands” fine, but do something to make the password obscure like spelling it backwards “sdNalsinaMyac” and then, make it even more hack proof by adding some nonsense to the password like this “sdN4als8ina&My2ac”. Too long for you? Shorten it to “na&My2ac” but remember that longer is always better and you should have between 7 – 10 characters at a minimum.
Develop a System to Your Passwords
If you have multiple accounts to sign into where you are changing passwords often, come up with a system that only you know and hackers won’t understand. One way to do this is to pick a favorite song (Purple Rain is probably your favorite so we will use that as an example). Here is the first few lines of the lyrics:
I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you
Laughing in the purple rain
Easy enough to remember the lyrics to your favorite song right? Each time you change your password, use the next line in the lyrics (remembering to add your nonsense numbers and characters and to capitalize random letters) so it might look like this:
I never meant to cause you any sorrow translates to: i n m t c y a s
then adding the other things: inMtcy5as$
I never meant to cause you any pain = i2Nmt!Cyap?
I know that it may seem difficult, but ask anyone who has been hacked and they will tell you that the time it takes to fix the damage and how far reaching the damage is, is worth taking a little more time on creating hacker free passwords. The consequences of getting hacked can be so far reaching and financially devastating that you want to do everything you can to stay smarter than the hackers so they can’t take advantage of you.
What hack free password tips do you have to share?