creating a passwordA website is hacked every 2.88 seconds and it’s vital to take the right precautions to ensure your data or computer information is safe.

With the latest news of HEART BLEED, chances are you will need to update your password on various accounts soon. I’ve updated 5 different accounts so far, and I’m sure as more companies realize what’s vulnerable – that list will grow.

As you are changing your password, make sure that you are using a strong password. Bill Carey, VP of Marketing at Siber Systems, makers of the popular password manager RoboForm has provided us with19 do’s and don’t on creating a password.

  1. Make sure that you create a different password for each online account that you have so that if one account is hacked, your other accounts will be safe.
  2. Create passwords with combinations of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  3. Create passwords that are at least 6 to 8 characters long!
  4. Make sure that you change important passwords at least once every 3 months.
  5. When you’re done with using a website, log off and close your browser. This will prevent others from gaining access to your account.
  6. Try the ‘First Letter’ method when creating new passwords. Take the first letter of your favorite expression, lyric, poem or movie, etc, and put them together in a creative way. For example, “To boldly go where no man has gone before” can change to: 2Bgw^Mhgb4. Hard to hack but easy to remember.
  7. Use the ‘Substitute method’ when creating passwords. Choose any word and substitute letters for similar looking numbers or symbols.  For example: Football changes to F00t3411 and Superb changes to $u93rb.
  8. Use the ‘Keystroke’ method for creating new passwords. Choose a password and create a keyboard mapping system. One key to the left and one up would make the password “tinmen” change to “47gh2g”.
  9. Don’t use dictionary words, proper nouns, foreign words or words spelled backwards for passwords.
  10. Don’t use personal information in your password, such as your name, your partner’s name, your child’s name, your occupation, telephone number or birth date.
  11. Don’t share your password with anyone! Not even your family members, close friends, secretary or boss.
  12. Don’t write your passwords down anywhere! If it’s necessary that you do, make sure it’s not easily accessible, but overall we don’t recommend this.
  13. Don’t rely on browser’s AutoComplete function (such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome). This is a very insecure method for storing passwords!
  14. Don’t allow a website to store your password. Websites are on remote servers and storing passwords here is not secure.
  15. Don’t keep a record or list of your passwords in unencrypted files on your computer or phone.
  16. Don’t choose or change your passwords on a public computer or in a public place such as a café or a library.
  17. Avoid logging into websites on publically used computers such as library computers or Internet Café computers.
  18. Avoid using common passwords.
  19. Make sure that you use a PIN or password on your smartphone.

Looking for a password manager? Consider RoboForm.

RoboForm is the top rated, easy to use, secure password manager and form filler. It automatically remembers your passwords, logs you into websites, and fills long web forms, all with one-click. For added flexibility and convenience RoboForm is also available in a portable version for your USB or U3 drive.

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