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How can I help limit unauthorised access to my personal information when using the Internet and MSN Messenger?

The MSN Messenger program uses your Microsoft .NET Passport profile to sign in to .NET Messenger Service. You can take steps to help protect your Passport profile information by following these basic guidelines:
  • Create a strong password:
    • Use a combination of numbers, letters and standard symbols (~, #, %), such as qwert%319.
    • Use at least six characters, but no more than 16 characters.
    • Use something you can remember.
    • Don't include spaces or international characters.
    • Don't use personal information that someone could easily figure out, such as your birthday, your child's name or your phone number.
    • Don't use common dictionary words from any language.
    • Passwords are case-sensitive, so note which letters you capitalise.
  • Change your password every few months.
  • Never share your password with anyone.
  • Don't respond to any message that asks for your password.
  • Never store your account information and password on your computer. That will make it easier for someone to get access to the information. If you do need to write down your account information, make sure you store it in a safe place.
  • Don't use your Passport password to sign up for accounts at non-Passport-sites that require an e-mail address and password. The non-Passport service may not have the same strict standards as .NET Passport, which uses a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Passport account. Use your Passport information to sign in only at Passport sites. Use a different password for all other accounts and sites.

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