Monday, May 31, 2010

Change your password

Hey guys, I want to encourage you to change your email passwords right now - well, as soon as you have read this.

Last night I got a weird email from my husband. I knew straight away that it could not be from him because he was in bed already! So we think his email had been hacked into. Dunno how or why or by whom. The inlaws had a weird looking email from his account too.

The emails looked like the one you can see in the picture. It shows up as (no subject) and then it only has a link in the email body. Do not click on that link. At best it is spam, at worst it is something far more sinister: a spammy link that actually hides virus etc!

Now, the email I have highlighted up there is not the one from my husband, this one came from someone I exchanged a couple of emails with 3 years ago(!) and it is a Yahoo account, so this is not just happening with Gmail accounts.

I don't think that my account has been compromised, but you bet I changed my password as soon as I saw this. However, if you have received a weird email like that from me, please let me know!

Do you change your password(s) on a regular basis? If not, you really, really should. And you should preferably use different passwords for your different accounts. I know, we're signing up for new things all the time and there's like a gazillion passwords to remember if you have a different one for each account.

Even if you do change your passwords, are they secure? If you use anything in the passwords that can easily be guessed that is a bad idea. For example, words from the dictionary, your partner's or pet's name, the street you live on, your birthday etc, should not be used as part of your password.

Use non-dictionary words that noone would associate with you unless they knew you really well. For example, an obscure character in your favourite film or book, especially if it is something completely made up. And do use a combination of lower- and uppercase. Your password is one occasion where randomly using CAPS is a good thing. And if the site allows it, add both symbols and numbers to your password.

This is an example of a good password: Symb3elM!neR0#an - it's a couple of words from Lord of the Rings with some of the letters replaced by symbols and numbers. Something like that would be a pretty strong password. Although, not all sites will let you make a password that is this long. But the longer the better! And no, that is not my password for anything. ;-)

If you want some more hints on making strong passwords -and how long it would take to crack a password!- please read this.

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jkc said...

Thank you so much for adding me to your flickr orange page. And I'm pouring over your wonderful blog and made sure to get added to your mailing list so I don't miss the latest updates.

Me salen alas (si me paras los pies...) said...

Hi!! I know your site today and its lovely!!!
You have a fan from today ;D ¡¡me!!
I´ll follow your clue
Kisses from Spain.

sharon said...

Every internet user should take care of their online privacy. To protect privacy we all should use strong passwords. Either you create a strong password by your own or you can make use of Visit the site and ask for a stronger password by typing password: in the search box and pressing enter.