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Personal Interest - Securing Your Life with a Password

Personal Interest - Securing Your Life with a Password

Information from First United Bank Newsletter

With the popularity of the internet, more and more people are accessing and storing their personal and business information on line. All that stands between your sensitive information and someone accessing it is usually your password. With the increase of web sites being hacked, creating a secure password is more important now than ever.

Ask yourself, which password is stronger - "K@%6Fos" or "MyPetLemurFrank". The stronger password is "MyPetLemurFrank"! Shocking isn't it! According to the information from the FBI, a "brute-force password cracker" or a program that cycles through multiple password combinations could crack the first string of characters in about 4 hours and the second string would take almost 317 years.

Here are some tips when selecting a password:

- Focus on length rather than complexity. The best advice that cyber security professionals give to people is to make your password 8 characters or more and then add special characters such as a mixture of lower case and uppercase letters.
- Use "pass phrases" rather than passwords. Again, length over complexity makes it harder for people and programs to crack your password.
- If you are having a hard time selecting a password, try using a site that automatically creates pass phrases for you.
- And last, but not least – do not write your password down - remember it! It sounds obvious, but most people tend to write their passwords on sticky notes or create password files.
** Joe Stone's personal advice: I don't not agree with trying to remember your passwords. There is software available that will manage all your different passwords. Just remember the password for your password software. We all visit lots of websites, so it really would be difficult to remember all the passwords, if you use a different password for each site.
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