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Tips for Keeping Passwords Safe and Secure

Unauthorized access to your mobile phone handset or account can cost you lost money, time or information, especially if it results in malicious or criminal activity.

Passwords are everywhere. The password security tips below also apply to protecting other devices and applications, such as voice-mail, e-mail, banking and electronic locks.

Keep your passwords safe and secure against malicious or criminal activity by following these guidelines:

  1. Do not use passwords that are easily guessed, such as your name, date of birth, names of people, spouses, children, pets or places. Do not use common words that are in the dictionary.
  2. A password should be at least eight (8) characters in length.
  3. Make it a combination of upper and lower case letters. Do not use spaces.
  4. Include at least one number and one special character such as ! @ # $ %.
  5. Use a combination of characters that you can remember, but that is not easily guessed.
  6. Passwords, or the beginning word part of, should not be seven (7) characters in length. Due to the way many computers store data, a seven-character phrase is more easily guessed by a password-cracking program. Example of a weak password: "Tuesday99". The seven-character "Tuesday" part can be guessed easier. Then the "99" part would likely be guessed. Make the beginning word part six or eight or other number of characters in length.
  7. Create a strong password by using the acronym method: Create a short, memorable phrase or sentence. Take the first letter of each word to form the password.
  8. Or use a visual pattern that you can easily remember and "draw" on the keypad. One problem with this method is that phone keypads are inverted to computer keypads. If the password must be entered on both devices, the pattern must by "drawn" upside-down on one of the devices.
  9. If you use a common phrase, make sure to insert at least one number and/or symbol into the password.
  10. Do not simply use a word that is followed or preceded by a number.
  11. Do not use the same password (and user name) for all your devices and applications. If they crack one of your accounts, it's easier for them to crack another.
  12. Change you password regularly, maybe every six months. Do not use the same password again.
  13. Do not write your password down, especially not on the protected device. If you do write it down, do not store the paper with the device, such as in your purse or on your desk.
  14. Never respond to an e-mail message requesting your user name, password, credit card number, or any personal information. These are called "phishing" scams to get you to divulge security information.
  15. Be careful about phone inquires or activities that ask you to say (speak) your information, instead of using your phone keypad.
  16. If you receive a questionable message, or notice anything suspicious about a message or transaction, contact your phone company, bank or service provider immediately.

Go to Mobilook's Mobile Phone Safety and Security page.

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