Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

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It’ll be an educational view

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Learning sign language . . .

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Open Sesame is Too Simple a Password

As hackers break through firewalls protecting our nation’s facilities, the rest of us are wondering how to protect our assets from internet thieves. Cyberspace crooks pounce on bank and credit card accounts to fatten their finances.

It’s vital that you make your passwords as complex as possible to shield your information. they can be sheltered in the cloud, software programs, password manager and a protection service. These usually involve a fee. Or you can store them in a simple-to-keep thumb drive.

A prime rule to call to mind is that having a password that’s easy for you to remember – an old address or your father’s birthdate – makes it easier for password-hacker hounds to sniff out and attack your data. And using the same password for everything you work at in cyberspace makes it simpler for these same hackers to scramble through all your secured sites.

What happens if you lose your thumb drive? First of all you should store your passwords on two or three such drives. Keep them in safe and secure places. One should be in a safety deposit box.

Your passwords should be complex and different for every site The doorway to your email should be different than that of your bank account that should be different than that of your medical data, which should be different than … you get the idea.

Internet security experts suggest you begin with a Shakespeare quote or a song lyric or a phrase you make up yourself.

Let’s use “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” Write down the first letter of each word. Keep the punctuation and use capital letters for stressed words and you get W,WeaNaDtD.

You might add the date you first visited the ocean (which might have caused you think of this quote). You can split it up with half in front and half at the end. If it was July 4, 1954 – 7,4,1954 — you can wind up with 741W,WeaNaDtD954.

Looks complicated doesn’t it, but you know what it means. It also meets the rule offered by password pros – use a combination of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. And the longer the phrase you pick, the longer the password and the more difficult it is for hackers to crack.

Password security experts also recommend padding the password to make it longer but warn against using the shift key for padding or adding symbols. They suggest adding a short string of letters — such as jkjkjk – in front of and at the end to strengthen your password against assaults by hackers.

If you make the process fun, you’re more likely to remember the formidable password you’ve developed to protect yourself out in the cyberspace.  

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 12, 2023 at 6:11 pm

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