Passwords are an important part of the Internet today. They are used on just about every website, especially any site involving personal information or financial transactions.
Why do I need a good password?
Knowing how to create good passwords for your online life is essential to keeping your information as safe as possible. While no password is 100% safe, it is best to make it as difficult to crack as possible.
How do I make a good password?
A good password is easy to remember, but difficult to guess or hack. Password length, along with using upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation, and symbols are important factors in creating a good password.
A password length of 10 - 14 characters is a good target. The variety of letters, numbers, punctuation, and symbols all increase the dataset required when trying to hack the password, thereby, making it much more secure.
To make a good password, try starting with a couple of words or a phrase, then add numbers, punctuation, and symbols in random parts of the words or phrase. From there, you can disguise the words or phrase even more by replacing random letters with random punctuation or symbols.
Passwords to avoid
There are some patterns to avoid when creating your password. Dictionary words are words that can be found in any common dictionary. Many programs designed to crack passwords are outfitted with a dictionary of words. Dictionary words should be avoided as passwords, but do provide a good starting place for a strong password.
Misspellings and abbreviations need to be avoided. These can easily be programmed into a password cracking algorithm. Repetition of letters and numbers should also be avoided. Having the same letters or numbers right next to each other makes your password less secure.
Always avoid personal information as any part of your password. Personal information can easily be found on the Internet, especially since social networks have become popular.
How to safeguard your passwords
The biggest way to safeguard your password is to not give it out to anyone. If you are ever asked for a password in an email or over the phone, don't give it out. If someone from IT asks you for your password, don't give it out. They should not need your password to perform their duties.
Don't write down your passwords and store them near your computer. It is safest not to write down your passwords, but if you need to, make sure they are stored in a secure location. A safe would be preferable.
Make sure to change your password on occasion, especially to sensitive websites, such as bank accounts. I like to change sensitive passwords about every 6 to 12 months. Changing passwords on less important accounts, such as social networks, can be done every 12 to 24 months.
I like to use different passwords for different accounts. That way, if a password to one account is compromised, then your accounts on other websites will be safe. I reserve my most secure accounts for any sensitive websites, and I vary the passwords among those sites. In total, I use about 15 different passwords between all of my online accounts.
Web hosting is one of the most competitive markets on the Internet. There are thousands of web hosting companies and many different types of hosting. How do you determine the best type of hosting for the current and future needs of your website? The most common types of hosting are free, shared, reseller, virtual dedicated, dedicated, and cloud.
Free Web Hosting
The best thing about free web hosting is there is no cost involved. The biggest downside is many of the free web hosts will place ads on your site to pay for the cost of storing data and serving the web pages. Many of the free hosts will have a small amount of disk space and bandwidth usage per month and can be slow to serve those pages.
There are still some good places out there where you can host a website for free. Google is an excellent place to start and sites such as Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress will host blogs for free.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is a very popular type of web hosting. Most every hosting company out there will include a shared hosting option. With this type, each account is on a server with many other sites. Each account may or may not be able to host multiple sites. Those features and more can be found in each company's description of the hosting plan.
Since there are so many sites on the same server, the possibility of running into resource problems can be a concern. If there are one or two sites on the server that bring in a lot of traffic or are cpu intensive, it can slow down the loading time of other sites on the server. If your website only needs to be able to handle a few hundred visitors per day, this may be the type of hosting for you.
Have you ever wanted to run your own hosting company, but don't have the budget to build your own data center? If so, reseller hosting may be for you. Reseller hosting packages are sold by thousands of web hosts and will allow you to host other people's web sites. In many cases, you will be able to brand the service as your own.
My favorite reseller plans are with Hostgator. I hosted my site with them for years, and they have provided great customer service, competitive pricing, and room to grow.
Virtual dedicated is similar to shared, in that many accounts can be on the same server, but each account is isolated and runs its own software. Virtual dedicated hosting is an excellent choice when you outgrow shared hosting. As with shared hosting, many plans have the ability to grow with your website. Virtual dedicated typically has more disk space, bandwidth, and much more computing capacity than a shared hosting plan.
Virtual dedicated is my favorite type of hosting plan, as it can offer the power and privacy of a dedicated server, but at a much cheaper cost.
Dedicated hosting is typically the most expensive type of hosting. With a dedicated hosting plan, your account is on a computer all to yourself. Being the only one on the server means you have increased privacy and security. Dedicated hosting typically has a good amount of disk space, bandwidth, and computing capacity. These plans can easily handle thousands to tens of thousands of visitors to your site each day.
Cloud hosting is relatively new to the web hosting industry in the past few years. I have moved all my web sites to cloud hosting because it provides good value, fast loading times, redundancy, and scalability. I think those are the biggest advantages. Having the ability to scale across multiple servers using a load balancer is a big plus. Since the cloud hosting industry is relatively new, there are likely some issues that need to be worked out.
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