- Internet & the Web
Protecting Your Passwords
Password is the key to cyber safety. Learn how to keep your passwords secure and efficiently manage numerous passwords.
You are using it on your bank’s site, ATM, email, social networks or for other digital activities. It is a sequence of characters used to determine whether you are permitted to access a resource. It is very important to keep your password secret and you know it why.
Do not use usernames, IDs, important dates (birthday, anniversary etc.), friends or parents name or common phrases like "password", "qwerty", "abcdef123456" etc. as passwords. These are often the intruder tries first. Use a password unrelated to your information that others may know.
Never use any dictionary word as the password. Doing so makes it easier for the attacker to gain unauthorized access by checking all possible dictionary words until the match is found. This type of attack is known as “Dictionary Attack”, and software can be designed to make the attack automatic.
Your password should be:
- Long, and
- combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters (like #, @).
Use different passwords for each of your accounts. If someone figures out the password of one account, that person may be able to access your other accounts too. Moreover, as every site does not take security too seriously, so hacking some sites may not be too difficult.
If it is too difficult to manage different passwords for each account, use different passwords for sensitive accounts and another in multiple non-sensitive accounts.
If possible, remember your passwords. But with too many passwords it is not easy. If you have to write down your passwords, keep it in a secure place so that nobody can access it. Another option is to use a trusted password manager.
It is not advisable to give your password to others. You may trust your friend, but what if your friend wrote your password in a note and somebody finds it or somebody gains access to his or her phone and read your password in text messages.
Many sites or software tools prompt you to set a security (hint) question, which you may have to answer sometimes. Never set an answer that others can guess easily. E. g. if the question is "what is your birthplace?” some other person may be able to answer it and thereby successfully bypass some security check. So, if you have to set an answer you can set a fake answer that other person can’t guess.
E. g. you can set the answer to the question, "what is your birthplace?" to be “Delhi", whereas your actual birthplace is "Duliajan". If you have set a hint, write something that other people cannot easily guess.