McAfee's Tips for Better Password Security
Article by George Norman
On 12 Jul 2011
A list of fifteen tips for better password protection has recently been published by Robert Siciliano, Identity Theft Expert and Consultant for McAfee, company that specializes in providing security software solutions for home and business users. I’ve taken a look at the tips and I’ve summarized them below.

Robert Siciliano’s tips for better password security:
1. Do not reuse passwords. Every security expert out there will tell you that it is a bad, a very bad idea to use the same password for all your accounts. If one of your accounts is compromised and the bad guys find out your password, they will try it out on your other accounts.

2. Don’t type your password when someone is watching you.
Don’t be ashamed to ask your coworker or friend to look away or step back while you type your password.
3. Always log off/sign out. When you’re done checking your email or Facebook or any other account, make sure to log off or sign out – especially when you do it on a publicly available computer or when you leave your computer to go do something and there are others around.

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4. Use security software and keep it up-to-date. Antivirus applications are essential to keeping your computer virus, malware, and keylogger free.
5. When using a public computer, avoid entering your password. You never know if the public computer is compromised or not. It could have password stealing malware on it.

6. When using unsecured WiFi, avoid entering your password. The bad guys can intercept what you send over unsecured WiFi and thus steal your password.
7. Keep your passwords a secret. Do not tell anyone your passwords, not even trusted friends. It’s best to keep your passwords to yourself and not share them with others.

8. Change your passwords periodically and do no reuse a password for at least a year.
9. When coming up with a password, use at least eight characters of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The more characters, numbers and symbols you use, the stronger the password is.

10. Make you password easy to remember but difficult to guess. If you take the phrase “I am happy to be 29!” for example, you can come up with the password Iam:)2b29!.
11. The keyboard is your palette, use it to create shapes. You could use the keys on your keyboard to create shapes and thus come up with passwords. For example, by typing %tgbHU8* you come up with a V.

12. Use known sentences or phrases to come up with passwords. For example the famous “to be or not to be?” quote can become the password 2B-or-Not_2b?. Check out this article for a few more examples.
13. Be careful where you keep your notes. If you put your passwords down on paper, be careful where you put that piece of paper. Robert Siciliano says “it’s okay to write down your passwords, just keep them away from your computer and mixed in with other numbers and letters so it’s not apparent that it’s a password.” I’d say that it’s also a good idea to write them down in a notebook, and keep that notebook in a drawer, under lock and key.

14. Write “tip sheets” to help you remember passwords. You can write down a clue to help you remember a password. For the 2B-or-Not_2b? example above you could write down “to be, or not to be?”.
15. Check your password’s strength. If you’re signing up to a site that features a password strength analyzer, use it to check your password’s strength and take heed to any advice you are offered.



Tags: McAfee, Security, Password
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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