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A post it on a laptop saying – password 12345

Strong passwords are essential for personal security, whether for your bank account, website or home security system. It’s also critical that your password is easy to remember. Here are some tips for choosing an effective password.


How a strong password protects you

Your password is the key to hacking into your online accounts. Sophisticated hacking software can determine most basic passwords in less than a minute. It’s no surprise, as some of the most popular passwords people use consist of “qwerty,” “password” and “12345.” The more complicated your password, the more difficult it is for hacking software to decipher it.


Avoid these password pitfalls

Besides avoiding the examples above, steer clear of these no-nos:

  • Passwords with fewer than eight characters

  • Passwords that don’t mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and punctuation

  • Passwords with names, whether it’s yours, a relative’s, your pet’s, your maiden name or names from popular culture (even spelled backwards)

  • Your user ID in any form, even spelled backwards

  • Your telephone number, address, birthday or anniversary, as well as any numeric passwords such as your licence plate number or social security number

  • Acronyms, geographical or product names and technical terms

  • A single word preceded or followed by a digit, punctuation mark, up arrow or space

  • Words or phrases with all the vowels or spaces deleted

  • Any word exactly matching a word in a dictionary, forward, reversed or pluralized


General guidelines

Now that you know what not to do, follow these tips to create a strong password:

  • Use a mix of alphabetical and numeric characters and upper- and lower-case letters.

  • Use symbols if allowed.

  • Replace a letter with another letter, number or symbol or combination. For example, “computer” can become “c0m¶uT€R,” “fear” becomes “ph34R,” or “skills” becomes “5k1llz.”

  • Use odd characters in familiar terms, such as “phnygrlz” instead of “funny girls.”

  • Rejig a memorable quote, such as HersL00kn@U (Here’s looking at you).

  • It’s better to put your rejigged phrases in a non-sensical order that only you’ll remember, such as PeetzahEy3wn7 (pizza I want).  

Additionally, switch your account to two-factor authentication, which adds a secondary check after you’ve entered your password. It uses methods only you have access to, such as email or biometrics. Plus, remember to change your passwords often.


Access control and alarm systems in Calgary and Lethbridge

At Guardian Security Solutions, we’re committed to the safety and security of your family and property. With monitored surveillance and access control systems, plus alarm and security camera installation, you can rest assured your home or business is protected. Contact us today to learn more about our security solutions. We serve more than 10,000 customers in Calgary and Lethbridge.


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