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8 Ways to Become a Password Guru for the Greatest Password Security

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8 Ways to Become a Password Guru for the Greatest Password Security

How many times have you gone to login to a Web site, and forgotten your password? Have you gotten lazy and used the same password for all your accounts, just to make it easier, only to have an account hacked because they are all the same?

Password security is important to keep your information private and safe from prying eyes, but it can be daunting to figure out what to use for a password each time you have to create a new login I.D.. It’s time to become a password expert! Stay on top of your passwords, and make them as secure as possible.

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1. Create a “strong” password.

Some sites will actually tell you what a strong password is, or what it contains. It will commonly contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and characters. If you choose numbers, then do not put numbers in succession, such as “123,” or enter your home address. Some sites actually take an extra step to make sure you select a secure password by not allowing you to create an account unless you meet their parameters of a strong password.

2. Become Familiar With LastPass.

Why waste time having to remember all those passwords? It is not only important to create a secure password, but to be able to remember your logins so you can login easily. I recommend using a password vault like LastPass. The best part about LastPass is that it is one login you have to remember for all of your internet browsers. It also does security checks so you can see which passwords should be made more secure, or which sites have been hacked into and may be vulnerable and in need of a password change. Stay on top of your security and keep everything in one place.

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3. Choose something unique for your password.

As I warned before, it is unsafe, and unwise, to use “123,” your address, or your name as your password. Those are easy for people to guess. A nickname, or your favorite movie are good choices.

4. See this list of the top 20 worst passwords.

Some people actually just use “Password.” Really? Yes, unfortunately, really. Some people think they need to pick something easy for them to remember, but in turn are leaving themselves wide open for someone to hack into their account. Keep it complex. An eight character password versus a four character password changes the length of time it takes to decode the password from 41 days to eight years, according to CM Security. The more cryptic combination of numbers, letters, and characters make it less predictable.

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5. Change your password regularly.

Go in every month or two and reset all your passwords to add an extra measure of security.

6. Pick a different password for each account.

Don’t just pick one default password and use it for everything. You can create your own formula, but make the login for each site unique. You may have to go back in through all of the places you are logged in to do this, but it is well worth the hassle. Also, be aware that your Google account controls multiple sites like YouTube and Google Drive, and Facebook allows you to login to many other sites and applications.

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7. Test your password strength with this great tool from CM Security.

Go for a 6 star rating for the most secure password.

8. Think of a password you can memorize and customize.

To help you remember what you selected for each site – if you don’t want to use a password saving site – use something you CAN remember, and then customize it, like radio1#ebay, or radio1#facebook.

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And don’t fret if you lose your password. You can always ask to reset it from whatever site you are trying to login to. The important thing is to create one from the beginning that can keep you safe online.

Featured photo credit: Locked Steel Gate by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Bridget Baker

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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