Most of us do some kind of business on the internet. We buy things, we try to find information, we contact others, we do all sorts of things that can endanger our password and allow hackers to find us and thereby destroy our computer with a virus. Why they do this is incomprehensible, but it’s being done constantly. It is unfortunate that we must do whatever we can to prevent their access to our private information. You should change your password often and there are some things you can do to make it more secure.

When people are asked to provide a password for a new account they are usually in the middle of a complex set of questions and just automatically enter the first thing that comes to mind. That might be a pet’s name, a nickname, birthdate or something that they can easily bring back to mind when it’s called for the next time they use that web site.

You can avoid that sort of action by compiling a set of passwords ahead of time that can be used when required. Keep this list in a safe place. Memorizing it is better. The best passwords contain both words and numbers. Do not use a phrase, such as “bemyfriend”. Try to find words that have meaning for you, but do not become a string of words. For instance, dimplebluedinner. They have no connection to each other but may mean something to you. Or change the order, dinnerbluedimple, or misspell any or all of the words. You get the idea. Then add some numbers. The site you are joining will let you know what they require. Some want both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Try putting a number or punctuation mark between the words. Use a capital letter that is no part of any of the words.

Do not use the same password for every site you join. That’s one of the reasons for the list you create.

The experienced hacker has the tools to find your password and may begin by offering a service or product of some sort. There are tools you can use to avoid opening these offers, but you should just delete those you don’t recognize. If you think you might like the product, go to the company’s web site directly. A reputable company will have a web site.

A hacker will guess some aspect of your life, such as your birthdate. If you google your own name or your spouse’s you may be surprised at what you find. Whatever you have done online in the past is there forever. Any personal information such as relatives found in a death certificate gives the hacker a clue.

Some hackers attempt to sign into your computer using a variety of common words. Every word found is helpful to him. Other more professional hackers have a dictionary of words to try and access your account. They continue to try words and numbers at the rate of 100 per second until they get a hit.

You can prevent this type of search by adding a 5 second delay between each attempt. You can also add a penalty if a person has typed a wrong password more than a certain number of times you choose such as 3.

A hacker who can attack your server 100 times per second is quite persistant so anything you do to prevent this will make it harder for him. Another little hint I suggest is to add one CAPITAL letter and one punctuation mark such as an asterisk in between words or letters. That helps a lot!