“In the end, it's the responsibility to the public to protect themselves," says Robert Siciliano, an Online Security Expert to McAfee. ‘This disclosure now requires those currently exposed to change their password. The rule of thumb is to change your passwords frequently, every six months. It's a cliché, but true, passwords need to be strong. Let the keyboard be your palate and be creative. A common mistake people make is that they use dictionary or slang terms. Beware. Dictionary attacks use software that automatically plugs common words into password fields making password cracking effortless for various tools."
15 tips from McAfee to keep your passwords safe:
- Make sure you use different passwords for each of your accounts.
- Be sure no one watches when you enter your password.
- Always log off if you leave your device and anyone is around—it only takes a moment for someone to steal or change the password.
- Use comprehensive security software and keep it up to date to avoid keyloggers (keystroke loggers) and other malware.
- Avoid entering passwords on computers you don’t control (like computers at an Internet café or library)—they may have malware that steals your passwords.
- Avoid entering passwords when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections (like at the airport or coffee shop)—hackers can intercept your passwords and data over this unsecured connection.
- Don’t tell anyone your password. Your trusted friend now might not be your friend in the future. Keep your passwords safe by keeping them to yourself.
- Depending on the sensitivity of the information being protected, you should change your passwords periodically, and avoid reusing a password for at least one year.
- Do use at least eight characters of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your password. Remember, the more the merrier.
- Strong passwords are easy to remember but hard to guess. Iam:)2b29! — This has 10 characters and says “I am happy to be 29!” I wish.
- Use the keyboard as a palette to create shapes. %tgbHU8*- Follow that on the keyboard. It’s a V. The letter V starting with any of the top keys. To change these periodically, you can slide them across the keyboard. Use W if you are feeling all crazy
- Have fun with known short codes or sentences or phrases. 2B-or-Not_2b? —This one says “To be or not to be?”
- It’s okay to write down your passwords, just keep them away from your computer and mixed in with other numbers and letters so it’s not apparent that it’s a password.
- You can also write a “tip sheet” which will give you a clue to remember your password, but doesn’t actually contain your password on it. For example, in the example above, your “tip sheet” might read “To be, or not to be?”
- Check your password strength. If the site you are signing up for offers a password strength analyzer, pay attention to it and heed its advice.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com