Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - DIY SPECIAL - BY NANDAGOPAL RA­JAN

The pass­word of your email ac­count, net bank­ing ac­count or even mo­bile phone is piv­otal to se­cur­ing your pri­vate data. While most of us are ca­sual about set­ting pass­words and use the same pass­word for mul­ti­ple ac­counts, mis­cre­ants are wait­ing to ex­ploit the slight­est vul­ner­a­bil­ity. Here is how to set a strong pass­word.

FOR MAIL AND SO­CIAL NET­WORKS: Nor­ton from Sy­man­tec says a strong pass­word should not in­clude your pet’s name, birthday or ad­dress. Don’t share a pass­word with any­one–not even your best friends, and not even “just once”. - Strong pass­words have eight char­ac­ters or more and use a com­bi­na­tion of

let­ters, num­bers and sym­bols (e.g., # $ % ! ?). - You can also cre­ate a strong pass­word us­ing the first let­ters of a sen­tence or line close to you. Pre­fix or suf­fix it with a num­ber. E.g. Us­ing the first let­ters of “Where the mind is with­out fear” along with select num­bers, you can come up with a pass­word that reads 58wt­miwf84. - Try not to use the same pass­word for ev­ery ser­vice you use on­line, and change pass­words on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, at least ev­ery 90 days.

FOR MO­BILE PHONES: Rakesh Thatha, Co-Founder and CTO of Ar­rayShield, says peo­ple should use pat­tern-based lock in­stead of tra­di­tional PIN/Pass­word based lock mech­a­nisms in An­droid and other smart­phones. - Pat­terns like straight or di­ag­o­nal lines should be strictly avoided. The first

row of cells is typ­i­cally what an in­truder will try out the first time. - A com­bi­na­tion of straight lines (i.e. L shape or dou­ble L shape) or a combi

na­tion of straight lines and di­ag­o­nals is a good idea. - Select a pat­tern of min­i­mum 5 dots - Also it is ad­vis­able not to choose a pat­tern that re­sem­bles your name's first let­ter. So, you should not select a pat­tern of I or V or L just be­cause your name starts with I, V or L. This is easy to guess. - Once you select a pat­tern and start us­ing it, make sure you change your pat

tern once in three months.

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