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If you have passworded accounts on the Internet, once a year you need to change the password. If you get hacked, the consequences can be dire. THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY wrote an article in the November 2011 issue called “Hacked!.” Most of the following information is from that article:

  • Different types of accounts should have different passwords. Your password is only as good as the site with the lowest security
  • If a password can be found in a dictionary, that password is not safe
  • Choose a sequence of ordinary words since hackers cannot differentiate spaces from letters such as, “Aunt Phoebe is losing her memory.”
  • Choose a sentence that includes words that are not really words such as “I live on Umbiugo Lane in the city of Pyfte.”
  • Choose a word that is entirely made up “nQp964nnn4″ and keep a copy in your wallet — just not under passwords
  • How about a made up word that includes a name with meaning to you but still not a word, one or two capital letters and one or two numbers?

I had an experience where an email account I deleted came back to haunt my email address list. Luckily I found the password for the deleted account, went back in and changed the password again. So also keep a list of all email accounts and all the passwords connected to them.

A friend of mine swears that it is impossible to delete any information on the Internet, although THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY article disputes that. He says that the Internet was built by the military, and they specifically constructed it for non-deletion. If you watch any legal shows, you’ve probably heard them SAY something along those lines. I’m going with the theory, it’s out there somewhere. And from experience, I can tell you, you’re friends will not take it well when an email comes saying you’re stranded in Tanzania and need money — unless you really are and really do.




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