A few months ago we posted a blog post by Christine Rondeau of Blue Lime Media that discussed how to deal with hackers and spammers. After a few more months of dealing with hacked sites and researching best practices Christine has written a follow up that emphasises the importance of strong passwords and outlines a few simple rules that, if applied, will help keep you safe online. Enjoy!
Protect Yourself & Your Site With Strong Passwords
The biggest “Ah Ah” moment for me has been looking into password strength. For the longest time, I used pretty easy to remember passwords, but with the use of 1 password, I no longer have to and can use incredibly long and difficult password. If using such a tool is simply not an option for you, you might want to keep these rules in mind:
- Use at least half a dozen letters. Mixed-case is good.
- Use random letters or uncommon acronyms only. Do not use words. If it’s in a dictionary… DON’T USE IT!
- Use Numbers. At least a few integers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). More is better.
- Use Punctuation. Punctuation is essential in a strong password. WordPress and other websites will let you use pretty much any punctuation mark that you see on your keyboard.
- Change your passwords a few times of year.
- Do not use the same password as your username or part of the username.
- Do not use your name, family members or pet names.
- Take advantage of on-line password generator tools such as Strong Password Generator.
Avoid using these types of passwords at all times:
Finally if you’re more of a visual person, here’s a comic strip that explains password strength.