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Tips on choosing a good password

master_lock_with_root_password.jpg

It has never been more important to choose a good password as can be seen by the almost weekly news of large Internet sites being hacked. A long, complex password will protect you even when a site is hacked and choosing a good password needn't be hard and can even be fun (well, relatively so anyway....)

Step 1 - think of a phrase that has meaning to you but would be hard for others to guess

Examples:

  • I like Fridays because I finish at 4pm
  • I ran the London Marathon when I was 27!
  • Those pesky people on the WBS Helpdesk are making me change my password again :-(

Step 2 - take the first letter of each word and add a little spice!

Take the first letter of every word. To make things really hard for a hacker add a little punctuation (e.g. an exclamation mark), some capital letters or replace common words with numbers (e.g. replace 'I' with the number one, or 'for' with the number 4). Go on, have a little fun, it is your secret phrase that no-one else will know.

So the above phrases then become passwords like below (but don't use these as they have now been written down)

  • IlFbIfa4PM!
  • IrtLMwIw27!
  • TppotWBSHammcmpwa:-(

There you go... three really good example passwords that are easy(ish) for you to remember but very difficult for a hacker to crack.

Step 3 - use this knowledge to protect yourself at home too

Never re-use your WBS password for another site. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you use different passwords for all your important sites. You can do this by thinking up phrases for each of your key sites... something like:

  • "I like shopping at Amazon but I always spend too much money" becomes ILs@AbIas2mm!