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Creating Secure Password
Did you know that the first line of defense against account theft is a secure password? The vast majority of people who have had their accounts stolen had very easy to guess passwords. 

What is a "secure password?" One that is easy for you to remember but not for others to guess. The best passwords utilize at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter and a number -- and does not spell a word found in the dictionary or something that is publicly personal about you. Luckily, there are an infinite combinations of numbers and letters that are random enough that make it nearly impossible to guess.

Here are a few examples of easy to guess, weak passwords:
  • Doris
  • 1776
  • password
  • guess
  • truth
Need a little help creating one? Pick a name, like your favorite teacher or your favorite childhood pet. Then pick 2 to four numbers, like your age, year of birth, or someone else's year of birth, or even the year that your favorite movie was made. 

Now mix it up in some ways that would only make sense to you.

Here are some examples of some good passwords:
  • Doris1776
  • 1776Doris
  • Duckie19
  • 27Bathtubs
  • Carrottop12
These are much stronger:
  • d1o7r7i6S
  • 17Doris76
  • 19DuCkIes
  • 27BATHtubs
  • CarrotTOP12
Some other good things to consider are phrases. You can't use spaces in UO passwords but you can do something like this:
  • DorisDoris76
  • MmmMmmG00d (with zeros and not "O"s)
For the strongest type of password. use numbers, caps, and lowercase letters in several locations, like:
  • iLikeApp1es54
  • Sewing4Fun1776
  • IgLaOmVeEs2 (I love games, too)
  • IluvB1000p (I love Blooop, with a one for the "L" and three zeroes for the "O"s)
  • IWant2PlayOnU02Day
You should also have a variety of passwords that you use for different things. Using one password for all of your accounts means if your password ever should be discovered in one place, the person who discovered it now has access to every account you have online. So, your e-mail password should be different from your UO password, which should be different from your online banking password, and so on.

You often hear that you should never write down your password. Great advice, but what if you can't remember which password goes to which account? You might write down a clue to what your password is but not the exact password. For example:
  • Your password is: Fr3dF1intst0n3
  • Your clue might be: Barney's Buddy
  • Your password is: iLikeApp1es54
  • Your clue might be: Birth of Fruit
So, even if someone sees this list sticking to your monitor they would be hard pressed to figure out what the actual password is. 

And one last thing, please don't use any of the passwords above for your own. They are just examples of how to make a strong password.

Last Updated: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 18:24:23 +0000
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