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Cyber Security: Password Protected

You turn on your computer and you’re prompt with a username and password. The same thing happens when you open your email account. I know it is quite obvious to you right now but allow me to stress the importance of cyber security by having password protected files, networks, and software applications. It is important to protect your personal information. Sure, it seems unimportant if people hacked into your email account.

You have a bunch of personal emails from friends and occasionally send some your self but the whole lot of your mails in your inbox are spam and other promotional garbage, so why do you have to care that much. But the thing is, those who are able to gain access to your email accounts are often not truly satisfied with that level of attach and are in reality just preparing for a much bigger intrusion.

Before you know it, they can get information about your social security number of even bank accounts. Your personal emails contain heaps of information which can be used by hackers for their own personal gain.

Having a good password installed is therefore a good deterrent for hackers or attackers. It ensures that proper authentication is verified first before you gain access to personal information. It is therefore important that you make up a good password. A poorly made one will just be ineffective and totally useless against hackers.

For instance, using part of your name as a password would be just too easy to crack. It will not be a deterrent at all. To add to this, there are applications like virus and worms that can actually penetrate a secure or confidential system just because it has a weak password installed.

Example of weak passwords, aside from a derivative from your name, would be using numbers that coincides with birthdays, phone numbers, addresses and information about your family or stuff. Sure, these are easy to remember but that thinking will also cause you problems later on. These kinds of numeric passwords are just easy to solve. The same thing goes with dictionary based passwords which are those words that you picked up from a dictionary.

Now in making up your password, it would be a lot better if you use combinations of letter, numbers and other techniques. You could intentionally misspell the words so you won’t fall for dictionary attackers. You can add numbers and a combination of upper and lower cases. Or you could assign a code.

You can abbreviate something that if you love “watching soap shows on TV” you can take the first letters of the word “WsSoT” and combine it with a relevant numbers. Not only would the acronym easy to remember but it would be difficult for hackers to crack. However, avoid using famous quotes, catch phrases, lyrics, poem and even pick up lines. Go for something you invented.

Also, remember that having a longer password is better. The more characters you have the harder it is to guess or the more difficult to decipher the combinations. Also, don’t use the same password twice for your other accounts. Although this is quite tempting since you don’t have to create a new one and remember it every time, when an attacker does get a password from one of your accounts, the first thing he will do is to try the same password for all your other accounts.

Cyber security begins with you. Keeping your personal information safe lies first on password protected access to your files, systems and networks. Having a right and strong password will help fight off attackers.


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