Sshhh…your Password is like your PIN….it should be Secret!
When Mums and Dads were young, we used passwords for fun activities and secret children’s business! In the tradition of Enid Blyton and her Secret 7 and Famous 5 we created secret clubs and played pretend sleuths and our passwords consisted of easy to remember names!
In the 21 st Century, however, it is crucial that your child have a secure Password to allow them to protect their email correspondence, their digital reputation and their privacy.
Devising an appropriate password is a skill that needs to be taught as young children tend to select words that are common or easy to guess such as their name or the name of their pet. Sometimes they share their passwords with their friends. Sadly in this day and age a Password must be considered like a Bank Account Pin. Just as you would never share your Pin you should never share your Password.
Have a discussion with your child about an appropriate Password
Only your parents should know your password. Never give a password to anyone else – not even your friends. They could unknowingly share it with someone who could use your password to pretend to be you or to harass other people.
Don’t use passwords that are easy to guess, like your nickname or your pet’s name. People who know you well can guess these kinds of passwords.
Never use any private identity information in your password. Identity thieves can use this information to pretend to be you.
Don’t use a word in the dictionary as a password. Hackers use programs that will try every word in the dictionary to guess passwords.
Create passwords with at least eight characters. The fewer the characters, the easier it is for hackers to try every combination of characters.
Use combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. They are harder to crack than just words because there are more combinations to try.
Change your password regularly – at least every six months. The longer you use the same password, the more likely it is that someone will guess it or use a program to find it.
Fun Password Activity – Here is an activity that you can do at home with your child. Using the Random Password Generator at http://www.freepasswordgenerator.com/ create two new passwords. Acknowledgements to www.commonsense.org