The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Features

August 9, 2013

10 worst password ideas and tips for picking a better one

Are your online passwords easily hackable? Measure yours up against this list of the 10 worst password ideas as outlined by Google Apps.

1. Pet names

2. A notable date, like a wedding anniversary

3. A family member's birthday

4. Your child's name

5. Another family member's name

6. Your birthplace

7. A favorite holiday

8. Something related to your favorite sports team

9. The name of a significant other

10. The word "password"

How do you pick a secure password?

Many sites now require certain elements be included in your password, like a specific number of letters or special characters, such as "#" or "?". But how do you know that you have a secure password?

The key factor in determining the strength of your password is the length, writes Techlicious blogger Suzanne Kantra.

"Numbers, capitalization and special characters are all bonuses, but a short password that uses all of these tricks will still be much easier to crack than a long password with real words," wrote Kantra.

She suggests checking your password's strength on PassFault.com, a site created by a respected computer security expert.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results