Secure Passwords : Keep Your Identity Safe.

Use Secure Passwords As Part Of Your Defense Against Identity Theft.

There
is so much we can do online these days. Internet banking, shopping,
investing in the market, social networking and so on. And that’s a good
thing.

The Internet has served up wonderful benefits for modern life.

As with most things though, there is a downside.

To
reap the benefit of online life you have to provide an awful lot of
personal information.

Information that would be gold dust in the hands
of an identity thief.

And often, all that is standing in
the way of your personal information and identity theft is a password.
A password that is not secure.

And the criminal does not even have to enter your home and steal your computer to get it.

Secure Passwords Reduce The Risk.

There
are malicious programs that can find their way onto your P.C. These
programs may ride in on the back of something seemingly innocent that
you download, or in an email attachment.

You should, of course, use a firewall and regularly scan your computer.

The identity thieves may not find your passwords on your computer, unless you store them in a file or folder, ( don’t do that!)

But
they may find details of your online accounts. And, if they do, there
are software programs that help them guess your passwords.

Weak Passwords Are Cracked More Easily Than Secure Passwords.

There are programs used by computer hackers that can instigate a dictionary attack.

password and log in screen.

Remember that ‘longer is stronger.’ Longer passwords are more secure.

These programs use massive databases of every word in the dictionary –
in every language, names, brand names, movie, song and book titles,
common misspellings, number substitutions and even backward spellings.

Then there are brute force
attacks. These hacking programs run through every possible combination
of letters (both lower and upper case,) numbers and special characters
(such as ! @ $ / { )

A password using a proper word or name would not take at all long to
crack.
Adding numbers to the phrase increases security hardly at all.

A
combination of random lower and upper case letters, numbers and special
characters, such as T5i0P&s^f is harder to crack and therefore more
secure.

The longer the password the longer it takes a brute force program to identify the correct combination.

An eight character password is not only linearly stronger than a six character password but exponentially so. A combination of ten characters will be even more secure.

A brute force
program, running on a reasonably fast and robust computer, would take
around 15 minutes to crack a 5 upper and lower case letter, number and
special character pass phrase.

The same program would take several
lifetimes to crack a 10 upper and lower case letter, number and special
character pass phrase.

Remember that ‘longer is stronger.’ Longer passwords are secure passwords.

When
setting up a password, if you have the option to use special
characters, upper and lower case letters and numbers, you should do
just that. Never create a pass phrase incorporating a proper word, or
name, for even part of the phrase.

What Not To Use.

Do not use birth
dates, real names or nicknames (your own or anyone else’s,) any part of
your address including zip code, phone numbers, social security numbers,
names of your pets, any words associated with your hobbies or
interests.


Hard Drive
Secure Passwords. There is an awful amount of your personal information on your hard drive.

For example, let’s say you are a fan of The Rolling Stones. Using
passwords such as “Jagger” “Stones” “Satisfaction” etc. is in no way
secure.

There will be a vast amount of information stored on your
computer’s hard drive that will tell an identity thief that you are a
fan of the band. Once he has that information he is on his way to
cracking your password.

Do not use predictable patterns such as sequential numbers (2,4,6,8,) or letters (d,e,f,g,h,)

Keeping Passwords Secure.

How often do you change your passwords? If you are like most of us, likely you never change them at all.

Likely
once the phrase is created you just keep on using it. Change that
habit. Get used to recreating pass phrases every so often. How
frequently? The more frequently the better, but every three months or so would be a good practical measure.

Changing the phrase frequently is one more link in the chain of keeping passwords secure.

Confidential Passwords Are Secure Passwords.

It
is very important that you keep your passwords confidential. Don’t
reveal them to anyone, not even to those that you should be able to
trust. Not your friends, your co-workers, or even your kids, especially
not your kids.

Don’t give out your pass code over the phone. You
may receive a call falsely claiming to be from your bank or another
financial institution you deal with.

These calls can be very
convincing. The identity thieves will try to extract all kinds of
information from you, including your secure passwords. Banks and
financial institutions would never ask for such information. See – Phone Scams.

Email
is of course, a favorite tool for criminals to use for identity theft.
An email asking for your confidential information should be treated with
the utmost suspicion. It will almost certainly be a Phishing email, even if it does look like it came from your bank.

Different Secure Passwords For Different Sites.

You need to create different secure passwords for each site that you log in at. Using the same password for each log in would be easy to remember, but would be sheer folly.


red keyboard
Strong Passwords. There are malicious programs that can find their way onto your P.C.

If an identity theft criminal cracks that single password — he has
an open sesame to all the websites that you use that require a secure
login.

Here is one of the many reasons that using a single password is such a risk.

Identity
thieves set up a website. This could be a forum, a membership site, or
perhaps a site offering what seems like a valuable free gift. No matter
what kind of site it is, you will be required to set up a password to
use the forum, download your free gift or whatever.

So you use
that same old, easy to remember, password that you use for everything
and now the thieves have it.

If they can access your computer, perhaps
with the help of other information you have supplied them, they will
have access to everything on it. With anything that requires a password
the first thing they will try is the one that you supplied them.

And as it is the only one that you use, it’s an open sesame for them.

Devising
different secure passwords for all your Internet logins is safest way
to go, but it does mean a problem. To take full advantage of the
Internet and enjoy online life, you will need an awful lot of secure
passwords – being only human, you are not likely to remember them all.

Easy to remember passwords = Easy to crack passwords.

Secure passwords = Hard (impossible) to remember passwords.

What to do?

Password Safes Help Keep Your Passwords Safe.

Password
Safes (aka passphrase safes, passphrase managers and password vaults,)
are computer utilities that enable you to store a great number of your
passwords behind one master passphrase.

Using these utilities you
can enjoy the best of both worlds of not running the risks of employing
the same passcode for all your log in accounts, and yet have just the one
strong password to remember.

KeePass is one such passphrase
manager. It helps you to manage your passcodes in a secure way and
sports many features. KeePass is Free, and open source (OSI
certified). – KeePass

Remember
that secure passwords are not the complete answer to online security.

Regularly scan your computer for spyware, never be online without your
firewall running, keep your browser and operating system up to date and
frequently monitor your online accounts.







Secure Passwords.

What Is Criminal Identity Theft?
Cash is a little tight but there are a few items that would improve your
life, so you have applied for a loan. You have worked out that you can
afford the
repayments and your credit history is first class, so you
are fully expecting that the loan will be approved. You get refused, why?

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