One of the most important and frustrating aspects of an online existence is the creation and security of your passwords. A good password has to be hard to guess, but easy to remember. Simple, eh?
The following are three quick tips to keeping your important numbers and passwords safe and secure.
Create A Good Base Password
The key to a good password is variety in the combination of characters used, so use a 79-character base. The 79-characters base is derived from numbers 0-9 (10), the lowercase alphabet (26), the uppercase alphabet (26), and all other common symbols (17) for a grand total of 79 individual symbol choices possible in each password character. Your password should be a combination of some letters (in both upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols.
Choose a location that is easy to remember, like a state abbreviation or airport code, and then combine that with a six-digit date that you can remember easily, but is not derived from personal information such as birthdays or zip codes. For this example, I am selecting the NFL abbreviation for the Miami Dolphins (MIA) and 12-07-1944, which is the date that Pearl Harbor was bombed.
With the letters and numbers chosen, it is time to morph them into a great base password. Start with MIA and adjust the capitals slightly to read MIa, and then with 12071944 start adjusting numbers into their symbol counterparts. Now I have [email protected]!9$4. To make this base password specific to individual sites, create a naming convention that is specific to all websites. For example, Outlook mail can be olm, or otm, or even otlml. Choose one convention for all sites and tag the new letters on the end of the base password. In my example, that would be [email protected]!9$4otlml. Easy to remember and very difficult to decipher.
Disguise Important Numbers
Hiding important numbers in plain sight is difficult in the digital age without the use of complicated encryption protocols and long keys. But, what is you have to store phone numbers or social security numbers on your computer and need to access them quickly and without hassle?
A simple way to store those numbers is to add or subtract numbers from the original. For example, your phone number is 352-555-5555 and you want to secure it and have it accessible. Simply add or subtract 1 or more digits from each character and you now have 241-444-4444 and the original number are quick accessed by adding the digit back. The same process works with social security numbers. Be sure to choose a number that you will remember.
People can be absent minded and other people will take advantage of that. Be wary of allowing anyone access to your passwords or social security numbers.
Criminals look for the easiest targets or the target that provides enough return on time invested. If your data is access or stolen, but is encrypted, there is little that they can do.