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Passwords are a pain, good passwords are a greater pain, but no password or one that is easily cracked are the greatest pain of all. Certainly you should never use words such as names and try not to repeat passwords however tempting.

These days a simple password is not normally possible with companies demanding upper and lower case, numerals and symbols. One recent attempt by me was blocked because I used two characters next to each other on the keyboard.

One solution is a password manager but these are normally sold on a subscription basis so it’s a repeated fee to be paid. Another is what I know a lot of people do and write them down, of course this should not be done but as most of us will have upwards of twenty passwords what else can you do.

A favourite book is one solution with say page 24 having your password in a combination that you know. Another site may be page 348 etc.

How you work in numbers and symbols may be harder. Then there are the upper case letters – assuming the majority is lower case – do not put them at the start or the end as that makes it easier for the thieves.

Of course with more people using mobile devices then passcodes finger prints and even retinal scans are possible.

Recently I received an offer for a supermarket reward card. I remember setting this up in store more than twenty years ago but I never remember setting up a password so that offer was not available to me.

When you get a new device or start a new service all you want to do is start using it and just setting up an account is wasted time let alone satisfying the password requirements that are often not explained until your password is not accepted, however better then than later when you realise that you never followed whatever your normal procedure is and you are stuffed.

So why not work out some passwords in advance by whatever method you devise and then it’s easy to just use one you have prepared.

I think – at least I hope – no one still uses ‘password’ as their password.

While Tiddles2 or Butch&Tiger are easy to remember assuming they are your pets names they are also very easy for anyone to crack.

Of course the thing most thieves want is your credit card details and so many services will have those details, we all hope that once those details reach the company you are getting the service from that they are stored securely but in a lot of cases you will be transferring them unencrypted.

A site that has ‘https’ rather than ‘http’ at the start of its URL is probably safer but who knows what ‘joys’ the thieves will come up with.

Having full security from one of the range of Anti-Virus companies will help however perhaps the best security is you. If it does not look right it probably is not, if you did not expect something then it’s probably not right. A lot of first contacts are made by email, just be aware and check.

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