How to choose better passwords?

Passwords are the keys which we use everyday to access our phones, computers, social media accounts, bank accounts and virtually everything (pun intended) which needs to be protected from the outside eyes. Passwords are all that which stands between our personal world and the eyes of vicious nexus of cyber hackers and criminals.

Imagine if someone sitting in a remote corner of the world, unknown and oblivious to you, gets hold of your confidential information – one simply don’t want to believe this happening to them. Even the thought of cyber crime can make us shudder in disbelief and no one would every want to be a victim. The question arises – are you smart enough to secure yourself?

Cyber crime is a blooming industry, with more than 400 million people being affected by cyber frauds and online scams, the need to take your safety in your own hands is stronger than ever. The first step towards cyber security is choosing stronger, better passwords. Worrying about how to do so? The following tips will get you started on the road towards cyber safety –

1) Change Old Passwords : ‘Old is Gold‘ – this saying might hold true for most, but not when it comes to passwords. Many of us millenials are still using the same old passwords which were set when our email IDs were created. For you to increase your security, it is strongly recommended to change your old passwords. Want to know how? Read On…

2) Use Non-Random Patterns : Cyber hackers, are just like us, using latest technology to break into private information. They too are smart, educated and have access to common words and phrases, famous quotes, movie dialogues, dictionaries etc. If you wish to set up a strong password, use special characters and symbols to make things less obvious and more secure. You can also add certain patterns to make your password more complex. For example – 2ndtonone4[you] is an interesting way to use numbers, characters and patterns.

3) Choose Longer Passwords : When it comes to passwords, the longer it is, the stronger it is. Most cyber criminals use advanced softwares to crack passwords, thus a longer password simply has a better chance towards security against such tools. For added strength, you can use numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase to your existing passwords too. Make sure that your password is atleast 8 characters or more.

4) Combine Multiple Words : This is an effective way to create better passwords which are not only secure but are also easy to remember. The key is to combine a memory or an event which you will remember easily. For example – itriedparaglidingandilovedit OR ilovetorideahorseonweekends

5) Use Multiple Passwords for Multiple Purposes : Imagine if a hacker gets hold of your password. What’s worst than having all your accounts hacked because you were lazy enough to choose the same password for each one of them? It is recommended to choose multiple passwords. The best way to do this is to set up passwords like categories. for example – your ‘social media‘ account(s) can use one password, your ‘professional/work‘ account(s) can be secured with a dedicated passwords and your ‘banking/savings‘ account(s)  can be protected with a seperate password.

Until face-detection, retina scanning and fingerprint access become household technology, passwords are our only bet towards a safer, secure tomorrow. What’s good is that our safety lies in our hands (quite literally) and anyone can use the above mentioned tips to create stronger, better passwords and protect themselves against the malice of cyber crimes and online phishing scams. As the old saying goes –

“Choose Wisely, Live Well”

This blog post is in association with Indian Cyber Army – an organization which is dedicated towards the cause of fighting against cyber crimes and promoting awareness for the betterment of people.

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Steps Towards Somewhere

– Arriving somewhere but not here

I was supposed to be awake in the moment but somehow time slipped through the hands and lead my steps towards somewhere.

Exactly my point. The ancient art of conversation seems oh so relevant again!

We’ve known them all – Tech, Society, Religion, Sex and TV (possibly evolution) the reasons to devour from the moment, the only truth there is. Truth is,  we’re all too much into out screens than in our space around people. Life is much more than staring into a screen., isn’t it?

“For once, let’s put the phone down.

Let’s kick the butt, and put out that frown”

It all started when I would want to know ‘what song is it’ ( quick backdrop – I am musician too) whenever I heard a riff/solo/melody on the radio. Having said that, I’ve been one of the few lucky ones to be in surroundings which are ever-present of brilliant, sensible musicians and avid listeners. I guess it all comes down to my keen interest in registering a song in the grey matter of my head when it’s ‘worthy’ enough to be in my playlist. (Yes, I am picky and take immense pride in the collection of music built with pride, only allowing the choicest, selected few while filtering out the rest for my occasional SoundCloud/Spotify/YouTube spins). Call me a snob, it’s okay.

So it happened one day, the sounds emerged from somewhere, arrived in my ears and rang the bells of unfamiliarity, leading to the ‘aah this is amazing‘ feel. I, for one, sure do wanted to save that song forever in my playlist. Them Feels. There are some.moments you want to revisit again

Next urge, to know what it was which successfully struck a chord (pun intended). Next impulse, to pull out my phone and fire up that cool ‘I claim to know every song, but that’s never gonna happen’ app – and so I did, waiting for it to feed my curiosity. The animation grew closer to conclusion, the internet was on all fours,

the clock ticked…nothing happened.

I tried again, furiously closing down the app and re-initiating the process

Unfortunately, the app wanted me to try again. Wait, What! was I disappointed? Should I go and get the competitor app immediately OR was going with this a sound choice(no pun intended). More than often, I start judging the choices made in past to justify their result in present). As thoughts started overflowing in my mind, something unexpected happened!

However,
In my moments of confusion, I could find one answer which I wasn’t looking for! I realized that not only it’d have been easier to simply ask what song from the person playing it, it’d have been a terrific conversation starter! Imagine, two different people digging the same song – Yep! Them Feels. Imagine the joy when two people appreciate the beauty of art together  – like patrons admiring the same painting. Remember the time and the place and the song – you and your musical friend could talk about for what seemed like ages? Pure. Uninterrupted Joy.
All of this, and a bit of that, gave birth to a sudden  revelation – Has technology subtly killed the art of a conversation? Are smartphones the new #BFF ? Have we
Arriving somewhere, but not here. Is it too easy to blame? Questions my mind asked, answers my heart knew. For once, I knew what I was seeking.

And thus, the irony subsided. I was no more clueless.

Ask More, Find Often.

Oh, and here’s what happened to the song – I did manage to ask that friend and strike up a beautiful conversation, a flowing stimulant like feel of being in the present moment only.

“The song is over, I am left with only tears. I must remember, even if it takes a million years” – The Who