Techlicious: Easy Way to Prevent Password Theft

By Suzanne Kantra for Techlicious

I used to reuse the same set of passwords for multiple sites and services online. I knew better, but it was impossible to keep track of the dozens that would be required if I had a different one for every site and service.

I had a system, with different levels of passwords for different types of sites. I never reused my bank password, I used highly secure passwords for sites with private data and I used lower-security passwords for general sites that don’t store private data. It wasn’t a bad system, but if one site was compromised and my ID and password were stolen, the hacker could gain access to other sites.

Now I use a password management program, which stores all of my passwords safely under one master password.

The key is to make sure you have a strong master password for your password management program to protect your list of passwords. You’ll want to create strong passwords for each site that you log into as well.

A strong password must have at least 8 characters (the longer the better), with a mixture of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and, if the site or service allows, special characters, such as “!,” “#” and “?.” It should be something you can remember easily. A long sentence works well when you take the first letter of each word and then substitute the vowels for numbers or symbols.

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This post is excerpted with permission from Techlicious.

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