Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Use Strong Passwords

Passwords are the keys to your internet life. Use strong passwords and keep the bad guys out. 

Choose A Password Manager
Creating One Strong Easy to Remember Password For use as a Master Password
Two-factor authentication

Don’t reuse passwords:

  • The best security in the world is useless if a malicious person has a legitimate username and password. They can do everything you can do.
  • Some people’s passwords are just simple to guess, like “password.”
  • Others use plain words that can be guessed by a hacker’s program that tries every word in the dictionary.
  • Using the same password for every site, a hacker only has to break it once or find it on another compromised website, to have access to everything using that password. 

Use robust passwords:

  • A password needn’t be a word at all. It can be a combination of letters, numbers and keyboard symbols. – (i.e. ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + – = { } | [ ] \ : ” ; ‘ < > ? , . /).
  • Use a password at least ten characters long. Longer passwords are harder to guess or break.
  • A password should not contain your username, real name, or company name.
  • Use of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and keyboard symbols make the most robust passwords.
  • Some of these punctuation marks may be difficult to enter on foreign language keyboards if you are traveling.

Avoid weak passwords; here are some examples.

  • Using a common dictionary word as a password is a bad idea.
  • Something easy to work out with a little background knowledge. For example favorite football team, birthday, spouse’s name, etc.
  • The most common password is ‘password’ so that’s an obvious one to avoid.

Look after your passwords

  • Never disclose your passwords to anyone else.
  • Don’t enter your password when others can see what you are typing.
  • Use different passwords for different services. In particular, have a unique password for Email and banking sites.
  • A compromised password should be changed as soon as possible.
  • Don’t recycle passwords (e.g., password2, password3).
  • Don’t send your password by email. No reputable firm will ask you to do this.
  • If you think that someone else knows your password, change it immediately.
  • Don’t write passwords down, use a Password Manager instead.   

Choose A Password Manager  

I suggest you start using a Password Manager to store login information for all of your online sites. Using a password manager is the most important thing you can do to enhance your security online. There are some good ones to choose from LastPass, KeyPass, DashLane, 1PasswordRoboForm, and Chrome Password Manager; these all are well vetted and safe to use.

  • My preferred password manager, by far is LastPass.    

Creating One Strong Easy to Remember Password  For use as a Master Password

However, to use a password manager, you still need one password to lock and unlock it. This password needs to be unique and follow all of the robust password rules. This one password should have no relation to your life, family, anniversaries, hobbies, or travels.  In other words, not guessable by someone with knowledge of your life. At the same time, this master password needs to be easy to remember and type, especially on a phone keyboard.

Here is a simple online tool from LastPass to help you create a unique master password, it’s their Username Generator Tool. It is intended to be used to create 8 or 10 character strings of characters to use as a username. However, I’m suggesting using it to generate pronounceable pseudowords.

Open the Username Generator Tool:

  1. Set the Username Length to 5 or 6 characters.
  2. Choose “easy to say” and check both the Uppercase and Lowercase boxes.
  3. Now click the circling arrow symbol to generate a word. Repeat clicking the circle arrow till you find a pseudoword you can pronounce, make notes or it.
    Repeat this process until you have 3 or 4 nonce words.
  4. Combine these non-words using number and symbols between them and add some numbers to the beginning or end.
The goal is to end up with a 16 to 20 character random master password that you’ll use to unlock LastPass or some other password manager.
Here’s how I create a master password using the LastPass username generator.
First created three, five letter base words (beTag, erEcs, and gleDI).
Note: I toggled through many combinations in the username generator tool for each base word until a combination appealed to me.
Then combined them with numbers and symbols to build a 17 character password add some numbers to the beginning or end (beTag8erEcs#gleDI952790) to end up with 23 character password. This random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols will be my the Master Password for logging in to LastPass or whatever password manager you choose and nowhere else.

How to Create a Strong Password (and Remember It) by How-To Geek “Be sure to use a strong password” is advice we all regularly see online. Here’s how to create a strong password — and, more importantly, how actually to remember it.

How to Use a Password Manager by The Verge  – If you’re using the same password over and over and over again, it’s about time you stop. Here’s how you can start securing your accounts — it’s a lot easier than you’d think. Click to play YouTube video. 

Google Chrome Has a Built-In Password Generator. Here’s how to use it! By Bleeping Computer – Chrome has a surprising amount of features that are hidden or not well known that can offer a great deal of functionality for users.









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