Nothing is more annoying than sitting at a computer screen, looking at a message saying “Password incorrect”. Modern technology is a wonderful thing, but when it crosses the line that divides helpful from annoying it can become a problem. Whether we like it or not, much of our daily life is now conducted online. As a result, we have many internet accounts and we need to remember a large number of passwords and usernames to gain access to them.
The password pressure of modern life means that 61% of us use the same password wherever we can. In fact, one in 10 people have 50 or more online accounts and many are not only using the same password for everything, but also writing down all their passwords in one place, such as a Post-it note stuck to their computer.
Some personal data, such as your mother’s name, might seem hard to decipher but if someone has any information about you, it may be easy to guess. However, this doesn’t mean you have to remember 50 completely nonsensical things.
The same password can be used for low-security accounts, such as discussion groups, but if the account is more important your password should be more complex.Never use standard dictionary words. Criminals use software that can go through every word in the dictionary and try them out as passwords in seconds. For more security, try mixing letters with numbers and punctuation. And the longer the password, the better it is in terms of security. Many sites ask for a “minimum six characters”, but you don’t need to stop there. Think of a memorable phrase, take the spaces out, or use the first letter of each word.
According to the Microsoft website, it’s not necessarily bad to write your password down —a piece of paper is harder for a criminal to hack than something on your computer, as long as it is carefully protected. So hide your password or disguise it. And never write "My internet password" at the top of the page.
I.- Answer questions 1-4 according to the information given in the text.
WRITE COMPLETE SENTENCES USING YOUR OWN WORDS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. DO NOT COPY FROM THE TEXT (4 marks)
1. Why do people have many internet accounts?
2. What is the risk of using personal information as a password?
- Using personal information as a password is risky because it can be easily guessed by someone who knows you. (p.3)
3. Why shouldn’t we use standard words as passwords?
- We shouldn’t use standard words because there are computer programs designed to try out all the words in the dictionary as passwords. (p.4)
4. What do we have to do to keep our password safe if we write it down?
- If we write our password down, we should keep the piece of paper hidden in a secure place, without clear signs of what it is. (p.5)
II.- Are these statements True or False? Justify your answers based on information from the text, rewriting the original sentences in your own words or quoting properly. (2 marks)
1. 10% of people have at least 50 internet accounts.
- This statement is true. According to the text, “one in ten people have 50 or more online accounts.” (p.2)
2. The length of the password is important to make it secure.
- This sentence is true because the text states that “the longer the password, the better it is in terms of security.” (p.4)
III.- Find the words or expressions in the text that mean (1 mark)
- 1. exasperating, irritating annoying (p.1, l.1)
- 2. glued, pasted, attached stuck (p.2, l.4)
- 3. absurd, senseless nonsensical (p.3, l.3)
- 4. worth remembering or easy to remember memorable (p.4, l.7)
IV.- Write a composition of about 130 words on one of these topics. Specify your option. (3 marks)
- 1. “People need to have strong unique passwords for every site and service, but that is an impossible thing to ask.” Do you agree or disagree? Discuss.
- 2. Describe your favourite website. Why do you find it interesting?