Thursday, February 25, 2010

A quick word about passwords

Considering the latest swath of phishing and account hijacking on Twitter, I thought I'd post this reminder. If you have a strong password, hackers will pass by your account and attempt to hack an easier target.

Picking a good password is not as thought-free (but is twice as important) as it may seem. Whoever has your password can (in effect) "be you" anywhere on the web — posting comments, sending spam, and leaving dangerous feedback for others. Basically, such an impostor can ruin your online reputation — and possibly cause you serious financial grief.

With any online password, you should follow these common-sense rules to protect your privacy:
  • Don't pick anything too obvious, such as your birthday, your first name, or your Social Security number. (Hint: If it's too easy to remember, it's probably too easy to crack.)
  • Make things tough on the bad guys — combine numbers and letters and create nonsensical words.Use upper and lower cases.
  • Don't give out your password to anyone — it's like giving away the keys to the front door of your house.
  • If you even suspect someone has your password, immediately change it 
  • Change your password every few months just to be on the safe side.