PasswordsHow to choose (design) a good password 

A good password is more than just some obscure word or a random combination of characters. Modern password cracking software can easily break passwords in a surprisingly short time.

Any password shorter than 12 characters is fair game and even longer passwords can fall if not constructed correctly. Passwords are cracked through various methods. Brute force (trying all possible combinations of characters, often using a base dictionary, until correct password is matched) is the most common.

Phishing and Social Hacking ( obtaining information through mis-representation ) are also common methods of obtaining passwords and PIN codes.. At Host Africa, your security is important to us, thus we would like you to use this advice to secure your passwords.

Top 25 most common passwords by year according to SplashData – DO NOT USE ANY OF THESE !!!
Rank 2011[4] 2012[5] 2013[6] 2014[7] 2015[8] 2016[3]
1 password password 123456 123456 123456 123456
2 123456 123456 password password password password
3 12345678 12345678 12345678 12345 12345678 12345
4 qwerty abc123 qwerty 12345678 qwerty 12345678
5 abc123 qwerty abc123 qwerty 12345 football
6 monkey monkey 123456789 123456789 123456789 qwerty
7 1234567 letmein 111111 1234 football 1234567890
8 letmein dragon 1234567 baseball 1234 1234567
9 trustno1 111111 iloveyou dragon 1234567 princess
10 dragon baseball adobe123[a] football baseball 1234

Password policies and conventions

So what is the procedure to construct a fairly safe password. To do this we need to bring in some thought as to what a password is and how it is used.
Your password(s) are the key to your personal data, you business reputation (as far as your website and email is concerned) and sometimes, even some financial transactions. Making a long, complex password can also be counter-productive if you need to write it down or save it somewhere just to remember it.

Password policies which force you to change your password every week or month can also end up being counter-productive, as this only encourages people to either write down the current password, or make their passwords “easy” so that they can remember them.

The following method can assist in negating both the previous issues and still give you a secure password that is not hard to remember (for you).

The Password Method

 

1. Choose a phrase of between 12 and 20 characters. Remember, windows based systems can often not take passwords longer than 16 characters, so keep that in mind. Start with ALL lowercase.

 

My sample phrase is:

 i like feeding cats  = 16 characters
 2. Change every 2nd word to start with a capital letter, starting from the first or the second word, as you like. I will start from the second word.
Like feeding Cats
 3. Substitute numbers for similar looking letters ( i = 1, o = 0, e = 3 )

Make your own rules here, for example, I will substitute only ever second occurrence, thus

 L1ke f3eding Cats
 4. Substitute less used characters for similar looking characters ( s = $, a = @, etc)
L1ke f3eding C@t$
 5. Remove all spaces:
iL1kef3edingC@t$
 6. If you can, add a random non-regular character to the start or end:
#iL1kef3edingC@t$
 Now you have a strong password !

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