Wednesday, July 29

Update Your Passwords.

As there seems to have been a rash of accounts hacked/hijacked lately. I thought today would be a good day to remind everyone to update their passwords. It is a good idea to change your passwords regularly, and I use a 90 day cycle on mine, you just have to find what works best for long as that isn't never!

I would like to share some reminders about what makes a good password, and what doesn't.

Some Password Don'ts:
  • Common words or phrases: Things like, 'letmein' or 'openupandsayah' or anything along these lines.
  • Any private information: If your name is joe, using 'joe123' as your password isn't wise.
  • Any derivative of your user name: if you user name is 'billthemonk', then a password like 'spiritualgoat' should be avoided.
Some Password Do's:
  • Use a non-dictionary word, or random string: Something like "ttlsgen".
  • Use mixed case: This means use both upper and lower case letters in your password in random places, like "TtLsGen".
  • Add numbers in your password: "TtLs613Gen".
  • Add punctuation to your password: "TtLs6:13Gen".
You will need to check the rules for password generation on each account you have, because some will require password under 8 characters, and others will require more than 8 characters. Some will allow the use of punctuation, and others won't, however, the more of these you can apply the better.

I asked one young wizards what they thought about these guidelines, and their response was, "How am I supposed to remember that!?". Well, that is when I taught the young wizard the following trick:

Find yourself a mnemonic device to help remember it. For example use part of a book you are reading right now, or a memorable headline from your local paper. For the example above, I used a Bible verse. This verse:

Genesis 6:13
Then the LORD said....
Ok, so I only used part of the verse, but that is the beauty of it, you can pick what you want, and it's easy to remember. Just use the first letter of each word for the section of the verse you want to use. Add on the chapter and verse reference and then tacked on an abbreviation for the book.

Now all you have to remember is "Then the Lord said 6:13 Gen" to know our password!

Remember you could do this using any publication you want, but substituting page number and copyright year, or printing number. You get the idea. Use something to help you remember that awe inspiring password...and don't forget to change them on occasion.

And please...


  1. Another thing that should be mentioned is NEVER share your password. Especially in a private message over a messageboard like Central. Actually, just stick with the "NEVER" part. That'll help.

  2. I'll add something too what stingite said. You shouldn't give your passwords to anyone even if they say they'll help you. Sometimes people who hack you might do nothing. Or they might do some serious things to your acount. They are all things to consider.

  3. @stingite and @Jessica. Thank you both for adding that. Never can seem to remember everthing. ;)