How to create a strong password which is different for every website in three easy steps

With hackers increasingly gaining access to the databases of websites including the user names, email addresses and passwords, it makes sense not to have the same email address and password on every website. Using this simple method, you can change your password and email address EVERY time, and have no trouble remembering it. This is what you do…

1) Choose a memorable phrase like “Today a butterfly crashed into my window for no reason and exploded”. Memorise it.

2) Remove all the letters except the first one of each word, change all the “ANDs” into &, the Es into 3, to/two/too into 2 and the “FORs” into 4. So, “Today a butterfly crashed into my window for no reason and exploded” becomes T a b c I m w 4 n r & 3.

3) Take three consecutive letters from the name of the website and add in the corresponding position in the word above. So if I took the 3rd, 4th and 5th letters of facebook.com – I would have “ceb” – remember to change the “e” into a 3, giving c3b – these are placed in the 3rd, 4th and 5th position of your password. T a c 3 b b c I m w 4 n r & 3.

You can further increase the by changing removing every other letter to a capital, or reduce it by having a shorter phrase like “A stitch in time saves 9”.

· 4sits9

· Facebook > 4sc3bits9

You could add other rules, but you should be consistent to make it memorable, but the important thing is to have a different password for every website. That way, if the website is hacked, then your password can’t be used elsewhere.

I also use a different email address for every website, again using the name of the website – you can take a sequence of letters from each website and use it as the name in your email address – so for Facebook you could use the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th letters cebo – converted to numbers where appropriate you get: c3b0. Obviously, it would be onerous to set up accounts for each, so you buy your own domain and host it somewhere where they allow catchall mail boxes. These are special mailboxes that allow you to direct traffic sent to your domain (the bit after the @) that isn’t catered for by pre-set mailboxes to a particular mailbox. For example – you could have the domain mydomain.com – you would set up mailboxes for yourself and anyone else that wants one and then the catchall and call it password@mydomain.com – then redirect all traffic that doesn’t go to one of the pre-set mailboxes to that mailbox, so c3b0@mydomain.com will go to that mailbox. Easy.

If you want any help doing this, contact info@ictsus.co.uk

Don’t let your computer catch a cold

CowpeaMosaicVirus3DIt’s cold out there. The winter of 2012 / 2013 has been long, wet and shivery and lots of us have suffered accordingly with sniffs and sneezes. They’re easy to get, all you need do is walk into a room occupied by someone with an infection and bang: you have it too.

Computers are pretty much the same as us in that respect. All you have to do is innocently wander onto an infected website, download a dodgy attachment via email, or click on a malware link and your computer is infected too. It really is that easy.

“So what?” you might say. Well, the next thing you know, someone in Bangalore or Sydney has cloned your credit card and is using it to fulfil their wildest dreams. Of course the bank may protect you, but if you have ever had a card cancelled because this has happened, you will know that it never happens at the most convenient time. Usually you get the call when you’re driving down the motorway at eleven in the evening. The bank needs you to press one to confirm who you are, then enter your four digit pin code: meanwhile, you are in panic with both hands on the wheel and a bored cop behind you in a big, white Range Rover.

It need not be like this and you do not need to spend a penny.

I use a belt and braces approach. By this, I mean I have my regular anti-virus software, but just in case I use a scanner to remove anything that may have gotten through the first barrier. All the software I use is free.

Free? Is it any good? Yes and yes.

mse

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