Anagram Your Passwords!

Remember those puzzles that require you to rearrange letters to make words and phrases?  They take a sequence of letters like alarepirctl and you manipulate them to become the word caterpillar.  Why not take that game, give yourself a few rules and create your passwords in the same way?

How to do it:

  1. Take an 8-character minimum word or phrase as your seed word
  2. Use a numeric replacement (such as those listed under common replacements) or add a number
  3. Use a special character replacement or add a special character
  4. Read the rest of this entry »

Expiring Passwords

Can you answer with “in the last 3 months” to any of these?

When was the last time you changed your password for …

  1. your primary email account?
  2. your bank account?
  3. Facebook?
  4. eBay?
  5. iTunes?
  6. WordPress?

If the answer is: Read the rest of this entry »

Machine-generated passwords

There are many websites and programs that can generate a password of any length and complexity.  Here are some of the pros and cons for adopting these passwords for day-to-day use.

Pros

Using a Seed Word to Generate Category Passwords

 I highly recommend organizing your online accounts into categories.  (If you need a refresher, here’s my original post.)

For sites which fall into categories 8 – 11, it is okay for your passwords to be similar to one another.  However, they should each have at least 3 unique characters and be no shorter than 8 characters long.  It is only for websites in these categories that I would advocate using the method outlined below.

This method uses a number mapping schema.  Read the rest of this entry »

Password Tip #2

Start Small

Don’t try to change all your passwords and your entire password generation process in one shot.  It takes time to develop a method that works for you.

Let’s all start today and stop creating accounts using our tried-and-true password.  You know, that one you’ve used for every website from Yahoo! and Google to eBay and iTunes. Read the rest of this entry »

Realistic Password Security

While my post about strong passwords lists out the definition and shows some examples of what experts believe are the best types of passwords, those are probably less than realistic for the average home user.

This post describes my opinion of the minimum requirements for securing your online self.

  1. Create a password with at least 8 characters
  2. Be sure to use at least one UPPER case, one lower case and one number in each password you create
  3. Read the rest of this entry »

Categorizing your Passwords

There are several ways to organize and maintain your passwords.  I recommend associating each online site with a category and then use a systematic approach to the complexity and frequency of changing your passwords based on the data held behind the password.

Here is my category list, starting with those needing the strongest passwords, diligent maintenance and greatest protection.

  1. Credit Cards
  2. Bank Accounts
  3. Read the rest of this entry »