...and How to Create Great Ones
Happy New Year! May your 2013 be filled with love and prosperity.
Now that the festivities are over, you can hit the reset button and clean up your act for 2013. Let's start with all those passwords.
The 25 Riskiest Passwords
(from an AARP article on the worst passwords)
Using passwords like these will significantly increase your risk of identity and other theft.
- password (Most popular and easily hacked.)
- qwerty (The top left letters on the keyboard)
- monkey (Very popular for some reason.)
- passw0rd (A zero instead of "o" doesn't help.)
- qazwsx (A keyboard top-to-bottom sequence.)
How to Create a Great Password
(From the experts at Google who know a thing or two)
- Include punctuation marks and/or numbers.
- Mix capital and lowercase letters.
- Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'.
- Create a unique acronym.
- Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv2Laf' for 'Love to Laugh'.
- Don't reuse passwords for multiple important accounts, such as Gmail and online banking.
- Don't use a password that is listed as an example of how to pick a good password.
- Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.)
- Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.
- Don't use keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
- Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters.
- Don't use repeating characters (aa11).
Tips for keeping your password secure:
- Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, parrots, etc.).*
- Never write your password down.*
- Never send your password (or your credit card or bank account info) by email. Sounds obvious, but if I had a dollar for every time someone did this, well, I'd have lot of extra cash. Email is not secure. It's like writing your passwords on the back of a postcard and mailing it.
- Periodically test your current password and change it to a new one, at least four times a year.
- Don't let your computer "remember" your passwords. Yeah, I know it's easier than remembering them, but you don't want that info stored where someone (other than you) can get at it.
* About the "don't write them down or tell them to anyone" part: I have so many passwords that I can't possibly remember them all, so I keep them in a password-protected file. Of course, I made the password to that file especially difficult and named the file with something that has nothing to do with passwords (I didn't call it "Passwords"). Then I asked my husband Harry to memorize the password to THAT file, just in case.
If you're not confident about what to do, how to do it, and when, get some help. We do a ton of coaching and hands-on help for artists of all levels and can cut your learning curve waayyyy down so you can get back to doing what you love: creating your art!
I can tutor you one-to-one, and you can request a free 15-minute conversation if you're not sure what help you need.
All my best to you and yours,