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Since the popularity of internet has surfaced uncontrollably, it was logical that the security for each user should be elevated as well.  The ability to become anonymous is so easy, many doors began to open for identity theft and hacking crimes all over the internet.  In February 2017, NBC News reported that Identity Fraud hit a record number.  An increase of 16% during the previous 2016 year has raised a continuing concern with developers and users about the internet and its cyber security.  We’re not going to go too much into the severity of identity theft in this article, but we’re going to help you pick out a good passwords which you can easily remember.

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Many of us have multiple passwords which we use for our bank, email, shopping, education, etc, that writing it down and storing it in a safe is no longer effective. Cleaning and re-arranging the desk/laptop bag was the cause of over 80% of users to lose their passwords.  Arghh!!  Picking out a good password is probably one of the most annoying and challenging task to affect internet users.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times and drama I had to go through to reset my email password.  There are so many different types of requirements from each system within a password that is impossible to consistently use the same for every login.  Some sites requires 6 to 10 characters, when other want 8 to 10.  Then there are sites which require that you have at least 1 uppercase letter and a number.  The latest is the incorporation of special characters such #, *, and @ as a part of your password.  So, let’s see how we can help you select a good password for yourself.

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It is good practice to preliminary identify the importance of the system you are logging into.  When you first sign up for the respected account, observe the password requirements.  Question yourself how important this account is to you.  Is it your bank?  Does it require you to store your credit card and personal information on the site?  Or is it just a shopping site which no personal information are stored?  Keeping that in mind, passwords and logins varies from site to site, and should be divided into different levels of importance. 

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Level 1 Type of Password

Level 1 password is for semi-non-importance systems.  These accounts are low importance, and has no importance bearing on worrying about identity theft.  For example, HP/Compaq Support, your phone account online, or even unlocking your mobile phone itself. 

These passwords usually has the minimal requirements of any 6 to 10 characters.

 

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Level 2 Type of Password

This is for more sensitive accounts that would store limited personal information such as credit card and bank accounts, computer logins and email accounts.  Formally, email accounts were specified as low level accounts, but with the increase in usage, it has moved up a notch with security requirements.

These passwords usually has requirements of an uppercase letter and a number in the password you select.

 

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Level 3 Type of Password

This is the most secure for more sensitive data.  Accounts such from your personal and business banking, stocks trading and even the car note you’re paying are considered as high importance. 

These passwords usually require an uppercase letter, a number and a special character.

 

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So now that we understand the various levels of password requirements, let’s move on to selecting a password. First, select a word/phrase that you can remember.  It must be between 8 to 10 characters would be perfect.  For this demonstration we will use the phrase “joescrab”. 

 

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Level 1 Password:  joescrab

This a simple password which does not include any capital letters, numbers or special characters

Level 2 Password:  J0escrab

Utilizing the same phrase, we increased the security of our password by replacing the “o” with a “0” and capitalizing the “J”.  This fulfills the requirements of needing a capital letter and a number in your password.

Level 3 Password:  J0escr@b

Using the same phrase, we increased the security of our password more by replacing the “o” with a “0”, capitalizing the “J”, and using “@” for the “a”.  This will fit the requirements of systems that require you to have a capital letter, number and a special character in your password.

 

You should be able to come up with more levels of passwords on your own, but hopefully you get the idea.  Strategically, the following table is a good guideline to use to replace letters in your password phrase with numbers and/or special characters to mask your password.

 

Uppercase  Letters A E I L O S G
Lowercase  Letters a e i l o s g
Numbers 4 3 1 1 0 5 6
Special Character @ - ! ! - $ &