|Use unique passwords to protect accounts by Sandy Zohari
In today's online world, having a strong password has become essential to protect yourself and your company from hackers.
A password that is an actual word, even a foreign word, can be hacked by brute force in less than 90 minutes. One that includes personal information, such as your pet's name or your children's birthdays, can be guessed by someone who knows you or does some research. The best passwords include both upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters such as !@#$%*.
These long involved passwords can be hard to remember, so here are some tips to help you out:
Use a phrase or a passage from your favorite song instead of a word: obladioblada.
Alter your word with symbols or numbers that replace letters. Some examples: @ for A, $ for S, (for C, 0 for O, 1 for I).
Create an acronym from a phrase: "I love my white poodle" becomes ILmwp.
Misspell common words: Gr@dyooashun (graduation).
Spell letters phonetically: SGZ becomes EsGeeZee.
Select a number that no one else would know, perhaps a childhood phone number no longer in use. Never use birthdays or anniversaries.
Create a number using numerology: Jane becomes 101145.
It also is critical to have different passwords for different accounts and applications, so if one is breached, they're not all at risk. For example, never use your financial password for your free e-mail account.
Put the password together with a logical system that you can remember. Combine the altered words with numbers, and perhaps something unique about each site:
For your banking: e$G33Zee101145h (h for HSBC).
For your e-mail account: g1Lmwp7892 (g for Gmail; use y for Yahoo).
Have fun creating your passwords. Stay safe.
Sandra Zohari owns AzoTek Database Solutions.
This column is written by members of the Rochester Women's Network (www.rwn.org), which seeks to help women connect, grow and succeed.