How to Protect Your “P@ssw0rd”

According to recent reports “password,” “iloveyou” and “123456” are still some of the most commonly used passwords. In an era where most of our interactions take place online, it’s time to consider setting up stronger and more efficient passwords. There is no doubt that almost every aspect of our online lives requires a password, whether you are doing online banking, connecting to social media, checking your email or even registering to certain websites. Like most people you probably use the same “soundproof” password that you’ve been using for years.

It is this mind-set that leads to an increased risk profile. With 2014 fast becoming “the year of the breach,” people need to take necessary precautions to avoid falling victim to hacking or cyber-crime.

Here are the 6 most popular methods to creating a unique password

  • Longer passwords – the longer the password the harder it is to hack it. Think of combining words, creating new words or combining phrases.
  • Take a sentence and turn it into a password – the sentence can be anything personal and memorable for you. Take the words from the sentence, then abbreviate and combine them in unique ways to form a password. Eg. PPupmoarT@O@tgs = Please pick up more Toasty O’s at the grocery store
  • The PAO (Person-Action-Object) Method – select an image of an interesting place (Table Mountain). Select a photo of a familiar or famous person (Katy Perry). Imagine some random action along with a random object and create scenarios. Once you create and memorize several PAO stories, you can use the stories to generate passwords. Eg. take the first three letters from “driving” and “Jello” to create “driJel.” Do the same for three other stories, combine your made-up words together and you have a lengthy password that only you understand.
  • Mix it up – use variations of spelling, capitalisation, number, characters and punctuation.
  • Never reuse the same password – It goes without saying that using one password for several accounts is not very secure. If one account gets hacked, the hackers could potentially use that password for all your other accounts.
  • Sign up for a password management tool– These tools will store your passwords for you. All you need to do is remember a single master password that grants you access to the stored data. Enter your master password once, and the password management tool does the rest.

“How will I remember every password for every account?” This is probably the question you’re asking yourself. Here at Panda we understand the value of passwords and have incorporated a password manager into Panda Global Protection 2015.

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