Passwords protection

One fine morning an old and rediscovered friend of mine messaged me to let me that she felt her facebook account had been 'hacked'. Though later the problem seemed to have solved itself, (it was not a 'hacked' account, but just the overloaded facebook server), I none-the-less decided that I must put some of my thoughts on the subject of password protection here.

The first thing is to have a hierarchy of passwords. Two or three levels, as you like. The first is your main email. The password should be little complicated. Please for god's sake never give out this password to anyone. Avoid till the last limit, and if you essentially have to, change it the next moment you get access to it. Trust me guys, the only times I've lost my main email account is when I myself gave away the password to some supposedly"faithful "friends".

Going one step ahead, I was thankfully able to recover the password via, the Secret question/answer pair. The trick I use there is to keep a common, a bit complicated, secret answer. It has nothing to do with the secret question. This secret answer is only known to me and only me, (The main email password is at times known to my brother, for emergency uses, though for most folks it should be the second thing only known to you). This secret answer is common to all my services. This allows me to recover any password, using the secret answer, like a back-door key to one's house.

The second level of passwords are for little less important services like secondary email, personal workstations. These can be given to the near and dear ones as you might share few things over these services.

The third level is for casual services. The password should be trivial. It can be known to many folks and even if you lose any of the services protected my this password, it should not worry you. Newsgroups, workplace terminal logins, iPods and things like this enter into this category.

The second and third level passwords can be common to people depending on choice.

The first level password should of course consist of numbers. Since you are going to change it frequently, give the password some artistic touch. Write it down in a safe place, till you get used to it, as you might have a weak short-term memory and forget it the next day after changing it!

The second level of password should also consist of numbers, as most services now require numbers in the passwords.

There is another level of passwords which are very secured. The bank account passwords. They are generally more protected by the banks themselves, but one must be extra careful with them. One obviously does not give them away, but I've seen people do that also- I was once in a shop and there was a man on his phone. He was giving some travel agent his credit-card details. Trust me he spoke all that is required for me to buy from his account. So well be careful what you are revealing and where...

There is loads to write on this subject, but that's all for now guys. You are free to add your share in the comments section.