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Create Uncrackable Passwords

To secure your privacy on the Internet, a network,
or on your computer, you need to use passwords. Good
passwords are difficult for anyone to figure out.
Follow these guidelines when creating a password:

+ Never, ever use the following types of passwords:
+ Words you can find in the dictionary
+ Names of friends, family, pets or items
+ Your user name
+ The word "password"
+ If you created an account and you were assigned a
password, change it.
+ Never, ever post your password on a Post-It note and
stick it to your monitor.
+ Passwords should not make any sense at all in context.
+ Use a combination of:
+ uppercase and lowercase letters
+ numbers
+ symbols (*, #, !, +, etc.).

An example of what a good password looks like:
A1b@C3xyz654%.

There are all kinds of tricks to use to remember your
password. For example, one trick is a combination of the
U.S. presidents (Democrats in lowercase, Republicans in
uppercase) and the length of their terms.

Using this method, the password looks like: B4c8B4R8c4

Come up with your own method for your password.

Cable Modem Safety Q: I have a cable modem, which means I'm online all the time. Does this make me vulnerable to someone accessing my computer? If so, what can I do about it? ---vmail from Joe in North Las Vegas, Nevada A: People can get into your system a few different ways. First, if you have file- and print-sharing turned on, you are vulnerable. We recommend that you turn these off. Second, some programs will open your system to anyone on a network-- Back Orifice, made by the Cult of the Dead Cow, is one of them. Get a personal firewall system. Guard Dog from Cybermedia is a good one, as is AtGuard from Walker Richer and Quinn. These programs put up a virtual wall between you and the rest of the Internet, and they accommodate only traffic that you specify.

Is My ADSL Connection Safe?

Q: I have ADSL. Can anyone access my computer? -- Doug from Bloomington, Illinois Leo talks to CyberCrime's Ira Winkler. Get RealPlayer.

A: Any time you have a permanent connection to the Internet, like an ADSL line or a cable modem, you are more vulnerable to hacking. It is not common, but you should take certain precautions to protect yourself: Network safety tips from Ira Winkler of ZDTV's CyberCrime: Assume that everything you do and say on the Internet can be watched. Never give your password to anyone. Update your software frequently. Download the software from vendor websites. Back up your files regularly. Use and continually update your antivirus software. Be careful about opening email attachments. Be careful when visiting "non-corporate" websites, and especially about downloading files from the Internet. Don't reveal personal information on the Internet, especially in chat sessions. Also be very skeptical about arranging to meet people. Be aware and maintain skepticism about the Internet. It can expose you to a whole new world, but remember it is a subset of the real world. I could go on forever, but just be careful out there.