I’ve literally only just realised that tomorrow is the anniversary of my first ever blog post! Wow, what a ride! I’m still not quite where I’d like to be, but I’ve achieved so much and am constantly growing. I’ve hit many milestones both in my journey in Internet marketing and here on my blog. I’m very pleased to say that this post is yet another milestone. It is featuring my first ever guest post! It’s a follow-on from my previous post that talked about ensuring that your WordPress username isn’t visible to the world.
So, without further ado, please welcome I.T. security expert, Ben Solomon to eMoneyAvenue. He has kindly contributed the following article about the importance of choosing wisely when it comes to usernames and passwords. I’m sure that you’ll find his content informative and useful. Please show your appreciation by commenting below, rating and sharing.
Protecting Yourself on the Internet – By Ben Solomon
Coming from an IT system administration and network security background, some of the practices I encounter on a daily basis make me cringe. Most computer users do not understand the risks they put themselves in.
When working with customers, I notice that they have high privilege accounts having default usernames, like – administrator, admin etc. To add to this, most times these high privilege accounts are protected by easy-to-guess passwords and, in some cases, no passwords.
So what would be considered a weak password?
Any password that is less than 7 characters long and is a word or combination of words that can be found in the dictionary, or is a sequence of numbers.
How can you create a strong password that is easy to remember?
My tips for my customers generally is that they create a password that is at least 8 characters long and includes one of each of the following:
- Alphabet in CAPS – A, B, C …. Z
- Alphabet in small – a, b, c …. z
- Numbers – 1, 2, 3 …. 0
- Symbols – !, @, #, $, etc.
Optionally, one can add a space between words in their password, in addition to the above.
The best way to create a password that makes sense to you and is easy to remember is by substituting letters with numbers.
An example of a weak password could be – cooldog.
To make it strong and memorable it could be converted to any of the following combinations, or more:
Some systems (I’ve noticed a version of Wishlist Member) do not allow us to use symbols as part of the password. In such cases you could add a space between the words like below:
- My d0g 15 c00l
- My d0g is c00l
Another thing that would help in staying better protected while on the Internet is avoiding saving your passwords on your Internet browser. This is because, if your Internet browser (be that Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or any of the myriad of others out there) is compromised (which is quite easy), there is a good chance that your stored passwords can be compromised. To avoid this, you could use an independent program like LastPass, but I personally prefer not to use any automated tools for this – yet.
Always be careful and never send your passwords by email or text message and do not share your passwords with others. If you are outsourcing something and the outsourcer needs access to your system, create a lower privilege account that only allows them enough privileges to get the job done. And once the job is complete, change the password to prevent access to that account.
I hope these tips help you in staying safe and secure on the Internet. Especially with more and more data moving onto the ‘cloud’, it is critical that we take all possible measures to keep ourselves safe.
That said, if you are sharing a computer with others, please create separate accounts for each user and educate them on having strong passwords as well. Please pass on this education about having strong passwords to all your friends and family to help them keep safe. Please have strong passwords on every account you have (e-mails, WordPress, social media, etc). All it takes is one weak link to allow for your passwords to be compromised.
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