Why you need strong passwords and how to protect them

Discussion in 'Email Articles' started by popowich, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Hello,

    It is important for several reasons to have a strong password on your e-mail and web site accounts. Your e-mail account is the gateway into your personal information including web banking, investment accounts, and other websites that store your personal information online. There is also a growing trend of spammers breaking into e-mail accounts with weak passwords and using them to send massive amounts of spam which can lead to your ISP closing your e-mail account before you even realize that there is a problem.

    The following are examples of weak passwords that must be avoided:
    • temp
    • password
    • changeme
    • having the same username and password
    • sequences such as abcd, 1234, and abc123.
    • the last 4 digits of your social security number
    • your birthday or the birthday of someone close to you
    To create a strong password please use a combination of the following guidelines:
    • Mix capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and use punctuation.
    • Create passwords that are over 8 characters long.
    • Use the first letters from a phrase or sentence that you can remember.
    • Substitute numbers, misspellings, and punctuation into phrase and sentence based passwords.
    Now we will use the above recommendations to create a new strong password.

    An example phrase is "Talk to the hand because the face ain't listening".

    Use all of the first letters: ttthbtfal

    Then capitalize every other letter: TtThBtFaL

    Substitute in some numbers: T2ThBtF8L

    Add some punctuation and generate our new strong password: T2T&btF8L!

    Now that you have a strong password you need to protect it!
    • Do not write it down.
    • Do not tell it to anyone else.
    • Never put it in an e-mail, chat, or instant message.
    • Do not type your password on computers that you do not control.
    • Do not use the same password for every e-mail account or web site.
    • Change your passwords regularly.
    Ready for a great tip about reminder questions and how to protect your passwords? Lie! When you are asked by a site that you trust to provide your mothers maiden name, name of first pet, fathers first job, the city you grew up in, or your zip code, do not give an honest answer. Create a fake history for yourself with funny answers that are untruthful but you will be easily able to remember when asked the questions. It is possible for a lot to be learned about some people by reading the information they have posted in casual conversations, e-mail threads, chats, and internet forums.
     


    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  2. Brandon

    Brandon New Email

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    I completely agree with you on this one. I just did some work for a client that had their pass setup for site.com as site01..
    The yahoo emails are real vulnerable and always have been. Now you have all the other sites that share the yahoo login, get that pass and you have total control.
     

  3. THERESA

    THERESA Customer Service Staff Member

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  4. Blake

    Blake Valued Member

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    Basically this is completely pointless. I mean it is a good idea to use strong passwords, but in the end it would not matter. Someone with the right knowledge and access to right tools can easily crack any password using a look up table. Most law enforcement have the programs and you can find a couple places on net to get copies. Though I will say this is good to keep away the skiddies and such, but the good people it does not matter. You can prevent brute force attacks with your knowledge. I would also add using generated passwords. I do not know any of my important passwords. I keep them all on a usb stick. And they are all generated. But very nice information for the novice peoples :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2015
  5. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    The stronger the password the longer it takes to crack it. A strong password, combined with regular password changes, significantly reduces the chance that it can be cracked by a determined person with reasonable resources before your next scheduled password change.

    According to a password strength test, the example password above with 10 random upper/lower/special characters will take quite some time to crack with a modern PC.

    If you want to send me the encrypted form of a password like the above I'll be more than happy to setup a process that tries to figure it out and let you know if it ever finishes. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  6. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    A good New Year's resolution idea is to take a few minutes and change all of your important passwords. :)
     
  7. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    With my recent change in day job employers I'm changing many of my passwords and the key that I use to create "random" strong passwords. An additional tip that I think helps to create a protect a strong password is to have a password that can be entered quickly by alternating the keystrokes between your hands. Type the first character with your right or left hands, the second character the other hand, etc. Being able to enter a password quickly makes it less likely that someone can observe what your password is or where the uppers, lowers, numbers, and/or punctuation are located within your password.
     
  8. Jennifer Savage

    Jennifer Savage New Email

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    Am i able to regain access to my account if i hav been locked out and no longer own the number associated with the acount
     
  9. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Jennifer,

    I answered your question here - Locked Yahoo Account | Email Questions
     

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