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GeorgTrek's Advice On Passwords

I've learned some very important things about passwords since I first got online. Here are a few:

This is most important. Never give out your password to anyone, no matter who they are. This is like giving a stranger access to your bank account, and who knows what they'll do. If you're on AOL, you may get a very official looking Instant Message every once in a while, saying something like "Our password database has been destroyed. Please enter your password and hit respond so you can sign on again later. This is most important". Or maybe "You are one the lucky people that have won a chance to be entered into the AOL Free Money sweepstakes! Please enter your login name and password below so that you can be entered!" These are scams! If you get on these when you're on AOL, go immediately to Keyword: Notify AOL and report them.

Your password shouldn't be something anyone can figure out. Don't go using your maiden name or your pet dog's name. Also, don't use anything that's in the dictionary. If you get Channel 1 news in your school (assuming your a student) you may have seen the report with the person running his computer through a dictionary in an attempt to crack someone's password. Also, add a couple numbers in the password somewhere, preferably not one and two. Plus, one final thing. There are lots of things you can register for on the 'Net, and many require password. Don't use the same password for all of these. Make up maybe five passwords, and each time you want to register for something on the 'Net pick one at random. If that's too much to remember, write them down, and keep them someplace only you will be able to find them when you need them.

Finally, this is also important: At the first sign of suspicous trouble that seems like someone could be breaking into your account, change your password! Then let's see them try and do something!

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This page last updated: May 2, 1998