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The subject of passwords and password security has always been an interest of mine, and when I see an article dealing with passwords, I read it. The latest article was in The Tech News Daily, and it had advice on creating a good password.

First, avoid the obvious. 123456 is the most common password, followed closely by QWERTY and the ever-clever password. I see a lot of passwords created by the user's initials followed by 1234. Give me a break.

Would someone please explain to me why monkey is such a popular password?

I thought I was terribly smart when I decided to use princess as my password. Princess is the meaning of Sarah in Hebrew. Turns out all those cute young things out there think they are hot stuff, and princess is like the eighth most common password. Gah! As soon as I found out, I changed it, of course.

Basic advice is that longer is better, mixing letters and weird characters is much better; best of all is to make some of those letters uppercase, mixing upper- and lower-case and special characters (the resultant possible passwords combinations number in the quadrillions). Of course, the trick then is to remember your passwords.

Yes, passwords. Don't use the same one everywhere. Just asking for trouble, if one gets hacked, they're all hacked. Just sayin'.

They tell you not to write your passwords down but to memorize them. Yeah, sure. I have a tiny notebook where I keep my passwords (and that notebook is guarded with the same Fort Knox care I give my social security card), written down because there is no way in this world I am going to remember Szb#^&21--it just doesn't flow, y'know?

And it takes me so long to type, anyone watching me would be able to copy the keystrokes. So my passwords aren't quite that complicated, especially since I usually have some kind of mnemonic device to help out.

Sure, there's no such thing as a perfect password. But whose account is going to get cracked? The easiest one: the one whose password is 123456.

It's become something of an urban legend at work that someone once hacked the password to the mainframe computer, surrounded by IT bigwigs who took up the challenge, saying it couldn't be done. 'Twas I, no legend, and I got a free lunch out of it, after guessing the password in three tries. So much for IT professionals. I suggested they change the password to something more robust. Their answer? Then it would be too hard to remember! They obviously didn't get the point of the whole exercise.

Just discovered an interesting phenom: credit card online passwords won't let you use special characters. Oh, well, I can still mix upper- and lowercase and numbers.

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