How to set a safe password

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: July 2012

The password of your email account, net banking account or even mobile phone is pivotal to securing your private data. While most of us are casual about setting passwords and use the same password for multiple accounts, miscreants are waiting to exploit the slightest vulnerability. Here is how to set a strong password.

FOR MAIL AND SOCIAL NETWORKS: Norton from Symantec says a strong password should not include your pet's name, birthday or address. Don't share a password with anyone-not even your best friends, and not even "just once".

- Strong passwords have eight characters or more and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (e.g., # $ % ! ?).
- You can also create a strong password using the first letters of a sentence or line close to you. Prefix or suffix it with a number. E.g. Using the first letters of "Where the mind is without fear" along with select numbers, you can come up with a password that reads 58wtmiwf84.
- Try not to use the same password for every service you use online, and change passwords on a regular basis, at least every 90 days.

Rakesh Thatha, Co-Founder and CTO of ArrayShield, says people should use pattern-based lock instead of traditional PIN/Password based lock mechanisms in Android and other smartphones.

- Patterns like straight or diagonal lines should be strictly avoided. The first row of cells is typically what an intruder will try out the first time.
- A combination of straight lines (i.e. L shape or double L shape) or a combination of straight lines and diagonals is a good idea.
- Select a pattern of minimum 5 dots
- Also it is advisable not to choose a pattern that resembles your name's first letter. So, you should not select a pattern of I or V or L just because your name starts with I, V or L. This is easy to guess.
- Once you select a pattern and start using it, make sure you change your pattern once in three months.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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