passwords are just as essential to our lives as our house and car keys
are. However, while we usually can fit our house and car keys on a small
keychain, we can very easily own an almost unlimited number of passwords.
Too many Web sites, whether it’s that of our bank, our electric or phone
company, or our favorite department store, require us to open an online
account with a unique user ID and password. How often do you ask yourself,
“Where are my keys?” It’s very likely that you’ve also asked
yourself, “What’s my password for this account?” For guidance on
creating, storing, and remembering secure passwords, click the links
Resources on Password Policies Wikipedia describes what the term
“password policy” encompasses in this Web page (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_policy).
strong passwords and passwords to avoid are at this Microsoft Web site (www.microsoft.com/athome/security/privacy/password.mspx).
This site provides a very useful feature -- a password checker, which
indicates the strength of your password (from weak to very strong) as you
type each letter, number, or symbol. Also included are valuable tips on
what to do if your password is stolen.
offers its own guidelines on creating effective passwords at
including password schemes for home-based personal computers and
work-related systems and networks. This P-Synch.com link (psynch.com/docs/password-management-best-practices.html)
covers best password practices for enterprise networks. This Free Software
suggests grouping passwords into low, medium, and high-risk systems for
easier and smarter management.
Managers Another way to manage passwords effectively is using a
special type of utility software called a password manager, which
generates random passwords for you and keep tracks of your accounts at
different Web sites. You can read up on how random password generation is
accomplished at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_password_generator.
TopTenREVIEWS link presents a glossary of password management
software terms that it uses to rate and review the top ten commercial
password managers. You can find a list of free password manager software
download not only password managers but also password recovery software.