Most people find passwords to be a major nuisance. They are hard to remember and can get confusing after you have a dozen or two of them. Because of this, computer users are often tempted to use simple passwords that almost anyone can break with a little effort. On top of this, many people use the same password for many different applications. While this means that you only have to remember a few passwords, it also means that a hacker can have complete freedom to access all of your information.
If the hacker is able to get into your bank account or steal a significant part of your identity, this is bad. Because of this, users need to find ways to battle back against hackers at work and at home. The key is to make your passwords unique and complex. Having a unique password for each account may be a lot of trouble but your security level increases exponentially.
The second part is just as important as the first. Many sites will no longer allow you to use a password that is less than 8 characters and require that it consists of both numbers and letters. This makes a password complex or more difficult to break. If you can avoid using your birthday or the names of loved ones or pets, it is even better.
For many people, the problem with using unique and complex passwords is trying to keep up with them. Doing this requires a person to record the website, user name or id, and the password in a secure place. Probably the best place to hide this information is in the wall safe in the cellar below your basement floor with iron doors that can be triple padlocked. Most people do not have one of these.
So, a new way to hide this precious information must be devised. Remember, if you hide it on your computer, hackers will be looking for it there. Now, you are back to coming up with a password to protect your password file. At least, you only have to remember one password. That seems better than remember 20 or more. If you can encrypt the file, it will give you another level of protection.
If you must store passwords away from your computer, hide them like huge sums of cash. Your mattress is not recommended. Hide them inside a book that is not obvious or in a folder that holds lots of other papers and documents. Try to make this look like something other than your password list. Do not advertise or share where this list is kept. Think of it as if it is the hidden key to your front door. When it comes to your online dealings, it is.
Do not share passwords. If you do, change them immediately. You should also change passwords about every two or three months. This will help get rid of hackers that might have gained entry but have not done damage yet.
For those passwords that are stored on your computer, you will need a good firewall and anti-virus program to keep unwanted eyes out of your files. Run the virus scan several times per week and keep it active when online. Good spyware programs and an adware programs can be downloaded for free online. These will find some types of intruders that an anti-virus program might miss.