Thursday, 6 May 2010

Password tips

A useful recommendation from the Oxford 23 Things programme was for participants to record their usernames and passwords somewhere discreet (e.g. a notebook) so as not to forget them. In order to keep your passwords secure, I thought I'd add two further suggestions that I've found helpful:

1. Don't use dictionary words or names: instead, take the initial letters of a phrase, proverb, or the first line of a song or poem. This makes your password memorable for you, but a meaningless jumble of characters for everyone else!

2. Rather than writing your actual password anywhere, write down a code word or clue for yourself that will trigger the poem or phrase you've selected.

General guidelines for creating a secure password are to use a mixture of both upper- and lower-case characters, numbers (instead of letters, if you like: e.g. zero instead of 'o'), and punctuation marks. Your password should contain at least 7 characters.

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