Here is a list to help you keep the weakest online security link, Passwords, a bit safer.

password security1. Choose a password that is at least eight to 10 characters long. This should be long enough to prevent brute force attacks, which consist of trying every possible combination of a password until the right one is found.

2. Make sure your password is difficult for someone to guess. Do not use names of any kind, including your login name, family member’s name or a pet’s name. Also avoid using personal information such as a phone number, birthday or place of birth.

3. Avoid words that can be found in the dictionary. With the availability of online dictionaries, it is easy for someone to write a program to test all of the words until they find the right one.

4. Stay away from repeated characters or easy to guess sequences. For example: 77777, 12345, or abcde.

5. Choose a password that is a mixture of numbers, letters and special characters. The more complex and random it is, the harder it will be for a malicious person to crack.

6. Use fragments of words that will not be found in a dictionary. Break the word in half and put a special character in the middle.

7. Choose different and unique passwords for each account.

8. Change your passwords often. Even if someone cracks the system password file, the password they obtain is not likely to last long.

Password – The Weakest Link