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Keeping Your Passwords and Your Website Safe

Published on 9/28/2010 by

As an Internet user, it’s vital that you create strong passwords and employ an unbreakable password management system.  As a website owner, neglecting to do either could spell the end of your web hosting days.  Weak passwords and poor security frequently result in hacked websites and computers.  Today we’re going to explore how you can create rock solid passwords and how you should store them.

How to choose strong passwords

It was revealed in 2007 that the word password was the most commonly used password online.  Big mistake, and one that hackers took full advantage of.  Microsoft recommends that an ideal password be at least 14 characters in length and contain a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols.  If you’re having a difficult time creating passwords that fit the criteria, there are websites online that will do the job for you.

  • Password Birdgenerates passwords based on words and dates that are important to you, making them strong and easy to remember.
  • Strong Password Generatorcreates passwords up to 21 characters in length from random symbols, numbers and letters.
  • Tech Zoomcan craft passwords up to 64 characters long using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Microsoft offers up a handy guide to creating your own passwords.

Where to store passwords

If you’re using a public computer or live with roommates it is never a good idea to store passwords in notebooks or on sticky notes attached to your monitor.  In fact, since pieces of paper can easily be misplaced or put into the wrong hands, it’s never a good idea for anyone to manage passwords this way.

Thanks to software developers, there are a great number of password management systems that will store and encrypt your passwords, keeping them locked down and out of sight.

  • Last Passencrypts and stores all of your passwords in a vault online, meaning that you can access them from any computer.  Last Pass works across all operating systems.
  • Password Dragon is a downloadable application that runs on Windows, OSX and Linux and can be launched by a USB drive, making it super portable and safe.

How to make sure your passwords are safe

So, now that you’ve created strong passwords and found a safe place to keep them, how can you check to make sure your password is safe enough?

Your website and your home computer are only as secure as your password.  Take the time to construct solid, long passwords and keep passwords encrypted and stored in an easy to access location.