NCFP Technology Section – I’ll Pass on That!

Passwords, without them your private computer life can become public and at worse your bank accounts severely overdrawn. Wireless networks are becoming common and while they stretch out throughout the rooms of your house they also stretch out into the houses next door and beyond.

TIP 1: password your login to your PC

If you turn on your PC and start to load up the internet, word processor or collect your emails then you’re doing something wrong! You should have had to login into your user area. Without a password your PC is open to hackers. Your first line of defence should be a protected router but belt and braces is the best way forward! If you don’t have the ability to add a password to your user account then to go to Help and find out how to. If that throws you then use the comment section below this article and I’ll try to help.

Tip 2: use a secure password

A secure password is not “123456”, “password” or your pet’s name it’s something that a hacker couldn’t guess, isn’t in the dictionary and contains numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols. In other words, it’s not “patch” it’s “iLt19s!”. How will you remember that, simple, it means “I loved the 1960s!”

Trouble is that eventually you’ll forget all the passwords, I discovered I had over 100, and turn on some sort of automatic fill system which completes the passwords for you. If someone steals your PC then it’ll be turned on for them too!

Tip 3: Use one or more of the free password services

Use something like www.lastpass.com which searches your PC for ALL your passwords and stores them online, encrypted, and deletes them all from your PC. All you then need is one very secure password for LastPass which, when you log on, fills in the passwords for you. If you also add a local password store like Acerose Password Vault at www.dexadine.com then if LastPass fails you still have a backup copy or, if you prefer, just use Acerose.

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