With hacking being an ongoing serious issue on the web, it is really important that you are taking your website and e-mail security seriously. Many people use passwords that are very simply to remember, such as a person’s name or pets name, and these are very easy for hackers to get through with automated programs or sheer persistence. Think a hacker wouldn't worry about you? Think again. Low level hackers need to start somewhere, and so start on smaller businesses as they are easier prey. It could be your competitor, or some they have hired. So how do you choose a stronger password? Below are some tips.

Choosing Secure Passwords

Choose a mix of letters, numbers and symbols, and use upper and lower case letters. This mixture is known as "pseudo-random alpha-numeric combination"; using this, it is very difficult to crack somebody's password. (i.e. instead of "password," try "pAsS34%(6*2woRd," etc.) Find a good way to remember. A good way to do this is to choose the first letters of a sentence that you will remember. e.g. "I have two pets named Kitty and Ralph " gives: IhTpnKaR Use punctuation to your advantage. To incorporate a colon into the previous example, remember the sentence as "I have 2 dogs: Rover and Fido", which would give: Ih2d:RaF Or there are tools out there such as: http://www.pctools.com/guides/password/ and http://www.thebitmill.com/tools/password.html which can help you generate a secure password. Try to memorise the password, and avoid writing it down. Somebody could very easily find the piece of paper that the password is written on. The longer the better. Don't make a password that's less than 8 characters. Anything less can be deduced from brute force software. Take the street you grew up on, and your first pet/something hard to guess from your past. Place a number in between. Substitute letters for numbers, and you’ll have great password. For example: You grew up on George Street, and your first pet was Tigger. His password would be: g30rg3t1gger You can add random capitals to make it more secure. Do not use the same password for everything. If someone finds this password, they would have access to everything. At the very least, make at least one password for sensitive things (i.e. online banking, etc.) and one for everything else (Skype, Messenger, email, etc.).


And very importantly, make sure you have a proper daily backup procedure in place within your own business network, as well as on your website hosting servers. Please note, this article is purely a guide and you should consult your IT professional for any specific advice relating to your individual needs.