Set and Use a Password

When you use a computer system, it is important to use a password, even if you might be the only user of the computer. Imagine if your computer was stolen-what information is stored on your computer system? Would it be useful to someone? If you have documents stored, are using online banking or just checking email, it’s important to keep your information private and secure.

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One way to stay protected online is by creating a passwords. An ideal password is one that is deemed to be strong. A strong password will usually be long and contain letters, punctuation, symbols and numbers that you can remember without writing down. If your password is easy to guess, then chances are that someone will guess it. On the other hand if your password is so complex that you have to write it on a sticky and place it on your computer monitor – its no longer a secure password!

The more complex your password is, the harder it will be for criminals to guess and gain access to your accounts. Avoiding sequences (1,2,3 or a,b,c) or information such as your birth date in your password will also help protect your identity and personal data.

One way of setting up a complex password is to think of a memorable phrase. Before creating a password, think of a sentence or two that is meaningful to you and you can easily remember, for example: “I got married in the spring of 1987!”. This phrase then becomes the basis of your password.

Now turn your sentence into a row of letters and/or numbers using the first letter of each word. This way, any time you need to type in your password you can think of your sentence and remember which letters to use. In our example above this would be : igmitso1987!

Remember to try and use a variety of upper and lower case letters. You could make your password more complex by capitalising certain characters or adding more punctuation symbols, however you do not want to forget what the password is, so its a fine balance and you can judge how complex a password you feel comfortable with.

This website contains more information on choosing a good password

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