Hackers and crackers use a proven technique called “social engineering” to determine the passwords you use to secure your computer. This technique is extremely effective and based upon an analysis of your lifestyle. So when choosing a password, make it as difficult as possible for someone to make educated guesses about what you’ve chosen.
What Not to Use:
- DON’T use your login name in any form (as-is, reversed, capitalized, etc.)
- DON’T use your first or last name in any form.
- DON’T use your spouse’s or child’s name.
- DON’T use other information easily obtained about you. This includes license plate numbers, telephone numbers, social security numbers, the brand of your automobile, the name of the street you live on, etc.
- DON’T use a password of all digits, or all the same letter. This significantly decreases the search time for a cracker.
- DON’T use a word contained in (English or foreign language) dictionaries, spelling lists, or other lists of words.
- DON’T use a password less than eight characters.
What to Use:
- DO use a password with mixed-case alphabetics.
- DO use a password with nonalphabetic characters, e.g., digits or punctuation.
- DO use a password that is easy to remember, so you don’t have to write it down.
- DO use a password that you can type quickly, without having to look at the keyboard.
We recommend you choose a line or two from a song or poem, and use the first letter of each word. For example, “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind…” becomes “Tamfibitw.”
If you feel like someone is trying to get details from you they shouldn’t end the conversation or change topic.