I’ve come to realize that there is VERY LITTLE you can do to keep yourself secure. Why? Think about the recent LinkedIn hack. This attack was beyond your control but was in the hands of LinkedIn. There have been many successful attacks in the past and more will be forthcoming and there’s very little you can do about it. If a hacker successful attacks your bank, your local grocery store or your accountants computers – your personal data that they are storing can be compromised.
Having said that here’s a few tips from Bill Carey, VP of Marketing/Business Development at Siber Systems (creators of the password manager RoboForm) that might help:
- – Don’t use the same password on every site. If someone is able to gain access to your password on one site, you don’t want them to have access to all your other sites.
- – Don’t use dictionary words, nouns, foreign words or backwards words as most hackers programs will easily crack these password codes. Avoid using your own or family names, initials or birth dates, your telephone number, pet’s name, favorite sports or teams.
- – The longer the password the less chance of it being hacked. Use long passwords of 8 characters of more with a mix of letters – in capitals and lower-case, numbers and symbols.
- – You can make your passwords hard to guess but easy to remember. An easy way to do this is to use the first letter from every word in your favorite expression, or line in a story, poem or movie. For example, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” could lead you to the following password: ABinHiWTitB.
- – Don’t allow a web site to store your password – anyone with access to your computer can get hold of these and hackers are increasingly gaining access to servers where passwords are stored. Also, if you decide to delete your cookies many sites will not allow you access, forcing you to go through the time consuming process of requesting and resetting your password.
- – Choose a password that you want to use and then come up with a keystroke mapping system. For example, if you choose to do an “upper-left” keystroke system you would choose the letter to the upper-left of the actual key you wanted. If the word you wanted to use for your password was football, your keystroke password would be r995gqoo. It sounds complicated, but you need to look at your keyboard anyway, so it is simple enough to select the letter to the upper-left, left, or lower-right of the word you choose to remember.