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Passwords Don’t Make You Invulnerable

There’s a lot of talk on both sides of the pond regarding the recent hacking scandal in the UK.  The News of the World, a major British news publication, is in increasingly hotter waters as more and more revelations are being made about the extent of the publications hacking into people’s cell phones.
At first, it was celebrities, and while the general public was a big disgusted, the feeling was, “well, they are celebrities; they can expect that sort of thing”.  But then, it was released that News of the World had been hacking into the cell phone message systems belonging to victims of 7/7 (the July 7th, 2005 London terrorist bombing attacks) and the family members of high-profile murder and (possibly) kidnap victims.  That got people not only talking, but made them furious.
Since the initial hacking reports were released, cell phone messaging technology has improved, there is and always will be a threat to your message system and while most systems require a password, that does not make it immune to hacking.
Unfortunately, most people do not take passwords seriously enough; especially when it comes to their cell phone.  For instance, using the last four or five digits of your mobile number may make your password easy to remember, but it will also make it easy to hack.
Remember: almost every online service you have leads back to your email address.  It is your skeleton key.  Therefore, your email password should be different from anything else and it should be the strongest password you have.