How to Fortify Your Passwords
Originally posted on WIBC.com on 09/08/2010:
With phishing scams sweeping across the Net, including recent Facebook and Twitter attacks, it’s important to take extra measures in protecting personal information from identity thieves. One method of avoiding phishing traps and hackers is to ensure that your passwords are virtually undetectable.
Riva Richmond, in the New York Times, outlines some easy and effective ways to secure passwords and make them harder to decipher. Important precautionary measures include using different passwords for different online accounts, specifically banking and bill-paying sites, and also using as many characters as possible in the password. Also, don’t use easily obtained personal information, like birthdays, or street or pet names. Instead, try using obscure references, like a character or line from a favored book or song. Mix in symbols and numbers as well, in order to add another level of difficulty. If you love ‘The Office,’ you could use “dw1ght$833tf@rm,” which translates into “Dwight’s beet farm,” or, if you’re a sci-fi junkie, you could try “m0nt@g45I,” which refers to the character Montag in the novel ‘Fahrenheit 451.’
Be unique and creative. Use easy-to-remember names or phrases that other people wouldn’t readily identify with you, like inside jokes, even if they amuse only you (fr@kk1nh@ck3r$ — frakkinhackers).