Eight Tips for Creating Bulletproof Passwords

Writing on a blackboard

I will use strong passwords!

Strong passwords are an important way to protect your corporate and private data from theft – and to avoid joining the more than nine million Americans victimized by identity theft each year. Jennifer Lawinski, a contributor to eWeek, quoting Darya Gudkova, head of content analysis and research for Kaspersky, emphasizes the need for strong passwords. She recommends long passwords with a mix of different characters and letters. She also throws in several different languages to make her own passwords even tougher to crack. How do you create a bulletproof password that hackers can’t crack? These tips from myID.com can help you set passwords that will keep your data stays secure. Ban the Basics — Never use words found in a dictionary, even written backwards, in another language, or with a simple number following.

Personal Is Predictable — Anyone who knows you could guess your password if it uses your name or username, birthday, pet or favorite team, band or movie.

Size Matters — The longer the better. Passwords should be at least 8 to 14 characters and mix upper case letters, special characters, and numbers.

Hooked on Mnemonics — Try working a mnemonic phrase into your password. For example, “There’s no place like home” would be translated into “TNPLH.”

Sell-By Dates — Change passwords for online bank or credit card accounts every 1 to 2 months; others are good for maybe months. Mark your calendar.

To Each His Own — Don’t use the same password or similar patterns (word plus repeated number, for example), so one cracked password doesn’t unlock all accounts.

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe —  Don’t share passwords or store them on your computer or mobile device. The best place to store them is in your head or a locked safe.

Password Is Not a PasswordIf the admin sets it to password, change it fast.

Connie Pilato

Connie Pilato

Connie Pilato is the Academic Technology Support Specialist for Jamestown Community College, and has more than 20 years providing technology support in various roles at the college. While her primary assignment is to support the faculty of the Cattaraugus County Campus, she is available to assist both full-time and adjunct faculty regardless of their campus location.

Among her significant previous positions, Connie served as Network Design Engineer/Central Office Equipment, and Network Design Engineer/Special Circuits at ALLTEL, a telecommunications company.

Connie holds a M.S. in Curriculum Design and Instructional Technology from University of Albany – SUNY, and a B.S. in Business (Magna Cum Laude) from SUNY Fredonia.

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