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By: Steve Robson
The Internet can be a dangerous place.

While you're enjoying the convenience of online shopping,
Internet banking and subscription websites, nasty people
lurk around every corner.

Hackers, fraudsters, identity thieves and many others would
love to get hold of your personal details.

And what stands between you and a security disaster?

Your password.

Just 8 little characters long, it's your last line of
defense online. Here are 10 tips for choosing and using
bullet-proof passwords that will protect you from harm:

Tip 1 - Avoid the obvious

Passwords based on personal details are too easy to guess.
Avoid using names, places, favorite sports teams, or

Tip 2 - Make it non-dictionary

One option a thief might try to crack your password is a
brute-force dictionary attack. Choose something that you
won't find in any dictionary.

Tip 3 - Use the full 8 characters

The more characters a password contains the more secure it
becomes, so fill that password field to the max.

Tip 4 - Mix the case

Deter thieves further by using a combination of upper and
lower-case letters. A mIXeD cAsE password adds another
layer of protection and is ever harder to guess.

Tip 5 - Include non-alphabetic characters

Adding numbers and non-alphabetic characters (like a hyphen)
to your password makes it less likely to be cracked than
something purely alphabetic.

Tip 6 - Don't write it down

This should be obvious but it's amazing how many scraps of
paper surround the world's PCs.

Tip 7 - Assign a different password to each login id

If thieves get hold of your password, they'll try it in
every online system available. Use a separate password at
each website and you won't have all your eggs in one basket.

Tip 8 - Employ a password manager

Remembering multiple secure passwords can be challenging.
Specialist software like manages
your passwords securely and automates the login process.

Tip 9 - Logout when you're done

Always hit the logout button when you've finished using a
secure site like online banking.

Tip 10 - Close that browser

Web pages and passwords can be cached in the browser, so
close down your browser window for added security.

Follow these simple common-sense tips and you'll enjoy
greater online security while benefiting from the many
advantages the Internet has brought.

About the author:
Steve Robson is a successful technical author and
contributor to 'How To Buy A' - the definitive
online guide for buying a laptop computer. Check out:

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