I: Password and Its Importance
What is a password? In the field of computer, especially network, a password can be said to be your key. Specifically, password is an easy way for computer to recognize you. In our daily life, we recognize a person by his or her appearance, sound and even handwriting, but for computer, it cannot see or hear us, at least most computers cannot do that so far, so is the password to help. In this way, a password is a secret only between you and the computer. The computer has known your username but it cannot be sure whether it is the real you or not. At this moment, you have to provide password to convince the computer of you. So if your password is known to others, this is like you giving your key and admission to others. If this occasion do happens, don’t worry, read on and you will be told how to deal with.
II: Inappropriate Password
I have no idea of what form your password is, but here are several types of common password inappropriate:
(1) Use username as its password, for example, one’s user name is Asunsoft, and its password is Asunsoft as well.
(2) Variants based on username, for example, one’s user name is Asunsoft, and its password may be Assoft, asft etc. or add some frequently used numbers or important date to it like Asunsoft2012, Asunsoft@2012 and so on.
(3) Frequently used numbers like 0, 1, 123, 123456, 888, and 168 and so on.
(4) Frequently used English words, especially those commonly used by computer and their simple changes such as abcdef.
(5) Password indicates and specifies one’s personal information such as one’s birthday, name, spouse’s name or children’s name, telephone number, ID number or something like that.
(6) New password desperately similar with the one you are going to be replaced.
Some people even set his or her computer brand or monitor brand as his password, which are applied largely and not safe at all. When we set a computer password, we should bypass them.
III: Bypass Password Dictionary
Password dictionary contains all possible passwords including your name, phone number and vocabularies in an English dictionary. If the password you set is included in password dictionary, it is just a matter of time for someone intended to crack. Generally, password dictionary consists of the following four categories:
(1) Phone number. It can be your home phone, work phone, your mobile phone or pager.
(2) Birthday. It is divided into 3 combinations: month-day, year-month and year-month-day, among which, year of birth can be two or four digits.
(3) Name letters. It is divided into combinations according to the frequency of use like: consonant combination of name, Chinese surname or English name, Chinese name, Chinese surname adding combination of consonant of Chinese name, Chinese surname combined with English name.
(4) English words and numbers. Password dictionary contains an English dictionary file English.txt which holds more than 50,000 words and another number dictionary containing frequently used numbers.
Password dictionary has set case format of entry and dictionary width. Commonly used username is generally 3 to 6 characters and commonly used password is 3 to 8 characters. Thus we can see that almost all inappropriate passwords we commonly used are contained in password dictionary. Besides, the capacity of password dictionary increases and the arithmetic speed of computer become quicker. So if your password is too simple one, it can be found out soon.
IV: Select Secure Password
Having known the above contents, don’t you think that there are still a lot to learn to select a password delicately? Then how can we find an appropriate password on earth? Theoretically, the most secure one should be a combination of letters including capital and lowercase, numbers, punctuation marks and special characters randomly. In addition, a secure password shouldn’t contain information easily got by others nor too common words nor too short.
A good password should have features like the followings:
(1) Contains 6 characters at least
(2) Might as well contain non alphabetic characters like numbers and special characters, such as @, ~, *, &, # and so on.
(3) Must be easy to remember without writing down.
(4) Can be typed in quickly to avoid peepers identifying the characters without looking at the keyboard.
V: How to Manage Password
After you have picked an appropriate and secure password, you have to manage it well. Just as some people put their keys on the windowsill and granted that nobody else would know, but the truth is otherwise. And the best way to keep a password is to keep it in your mind instead of writing it down and keeping it in a specific location. But the paradox is that an appropriate and secure password to some degree is not that easy to remember merely by our memory. If we really cannot remember, we can write it down but should pay attention to the following points:
(1) Never write username and its password together.
(2) Change your password in certain manner easy for you to remember. You can add extra characters, change the order of characters or only write parts of your password down.
(3) If you have to record the entire password, don’t put it in a conspicuous place especially in the monitor.
(4) Fold up the piece of paper where you write down the password and put it in safe case or other secure places.
Conclusion: Reading here, I believe that you have a new understanding of how to select a password and how to manage your password. Sincerely hope this article can help solve your confusions. If you found your current password goes against some of the above rules, modify it now.