Last week, I attended the Safe, Smart, Social Summit that focused on safe social media use for teens and tweens. The first panel – comprised of IT experts from Symantec, Sony, DirectTV, and Sprint – spoke about internet security and the importance of protecting data. Inspired by the information shared, I've curated a concise collection of password resources for parents.
Longer passwords are stronger passwords
Here is a quick summary of their suggestions:
- Use a word not found in any dictionary (even a foreign language one)
- Use at least one upper case letter and/or punctuation character
- Do not use a palindrome (RACECAR)
- Do not use a left to right sequence of keys (such as QWERTY or 12345)
- Make passwords at least 8 characters. The longer a password, the harder it will be to crack.
- It is harder to crack a password that is four random dictionary words and 44 characters in length than it is to crack a password that is "secure" but only 28 characters in length. It is like the richter scale for earthquakes. The higher the number, the exponentially more powerful. Remember, longer=stronger. Watch this video for further explanation.
Use a different password on EVERY account
Passwords are like bubblegum –
- strongest when fresh
- should be used by an individual, not a group
- if left lying around, will create a sticky mess
We protect our homes by keeping the lights on, locking doors, and installing motion detectors. This does not guarantee we are not going to get robbed, but it makes is harder for those who try. While there is no guarantee that your password will never be compromised, taking these preventative measures are the first step to protecting your privacy and keeping your data safe online.