Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box
Security Starts With You
New Regulatory Changes: Do They Apply to Your Area?
Protecting Yourself from Rogue AntiVirus Warning Scams
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Tagged with hackers , passwords
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - Almanac Vol. 53, No. 6
Create strong, "uncrackable" passwords to foil hackers
You may not realize it, but the number one reason computers get hacked is weak passwords. To protect against hackers, who use automated password-cracking dictionaries to gain access to online accounts and individual PCs, be sure to use strong, hard-to-guess passwords with the following characteristics:
- Are at least 8 characters long
- Contain no words found in English or foreign language dictionaries
- Contain no words found in specialized dictionaries, including those used by hackers, which include names, proper nouns, and popular words from non-standard sources such as music, movies, and video games
- Contain a mixture of at least three of the following: uppercase letters, lower case letters, digits (0-9), and special characters (%*!, etc.)
- Contain no personal information such as your birth date.
To create a strong password, think of a phrase that has meaning only to you; for example, "My son Charlie Jones goes to school in Bryn Mawr, PA". Take the first letter from each word to create a password that is nearly uncrackable yet not hard to remember: "MsCJgtsiBMPA". To make it even tougher to crack, use digits and special characters: "MsCJg2siBM,PA". If you find it necessary to write down your password, don"t leave it in an accessible spot or share it with anyone.