Is Your Camp Computer Secure?

Is it easy for others to access your computer information?

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Over the winter, the website Gawker.com was hacked.  The people who broke into the website stole the email addresses and passwords of more than 1.3 million Gawker users.  When the information was posted online researchers discovered some thing very interesting: people are lazy.

Of all of those stolen passwords, the most popular, by far, was...

"123456".  Followed, of course, by "password".

How to secure your computer

Good password security can be easy enough if you can keep a simple trick in mind.    But first:

Elements of a good password

  • a combination of lower case and upper case letters
  • some numbers and symbols
  • unique passwords for EVERY website, bank, computer, etc.
  • memorable
  • no family or pet names
  • no birthdays or phone summers

The Trick

I learned this trick (sometimes called a hash) from Steve Gibson from the Security Now podcast.  Create a mnemonic system that will allow you to have all of the Elements.

For example [this is not my system, by the way ;-)] -   mycommonword + common number and symbol + Nameofwebsite (capitalized)

Check it.  I have one word that I can remember but isn't obvious to others: "elephant".  It is common to all of my passwords.  Plus, a number/symbol combo that is also in every password, say "53#@". Lastly, the name of the website, starting with a Capital Letter.

Using this system this would be my CampHacker.org password:  elephant53#@Camphacker

  • Gawker.com - elephant53#@Gawker
  • Citibank - elephant53#@Citibank
  • my laptop - elephant53#@Laptop

Easy to remember, hard to guess.

It's worth it to me to type in a long password so that I can feel secure.

What's your password?