Securing your passwords: Lesson 1
Have you ever wondered why your friend is emailing you “Pharmacy Deals” or “Weight Loss Secrets?” Chances are, the email server or account they use was hacked, allowing spammers to reach all contacts the person may be associated with. The spam emails will keep coming until the person changes all their information and passwords or closes the account. It’s an annoyance we will have to live with, even though Bill Gates predicted several years ago that the spam problem would be solved by now.
The first thing you should do is change all the passwords to all your important website accounts. More importantly, change any passwords that may be easy to crack. For example, the password “friendly” is just too easy. If you are going to use a common word, add numbers and odd characters to the word to make it more difficult. For example, “45friendly@65″. An even better solution is to mix upper and lowercase letters, and change letters to numbers that sound like them. For example, “4riendLY@65x”.
The best solution, though, is to create a completely random password. For example, “ph#Ac48Ru”. Sure, these types of passwords are harder to remember, but the more complicated the password the more secure your website and email accounts will be. You can use a tool to randomly generate a password such as PC Tools Password Generator. Just make sure you make a copy and write it down somewhere where no-one will find it.