It really is crucial for you Internet security and privacy to have strong passwords. If you use weak passwords your personal info is compromised; online banking, email, Facebook, and whatever else you have protected with passwords.
By not using strong passwords to protect your personal information you could be added to the growing list of victims of identity theft. By following these tips on how to create a strong password you will substantially reduce the chances of a cyber crook getting a hold of your passwords and personal information.
- Your password should be a minimum of eight characters – the longer, the better.
- Don’t use any words that you’d find in the dictionary or common names.
- Avoid the temptation to use passwords containing personal information; your name, birthday, driver’s license, passport number, telephone number, or similar information.
- Use a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters (both lower case and capitalized). Include both capital and small cap letters.
- Use acronyms combined with numbers and punctuation marks. What works well with a lot of people is using numbers and symbols in the middle of the acrynom, with a symbol at the end as well. For example, I might use the acrynom “My parents met in Tin Buck Two,” which would look like this – Mpm!123Itbt!
- Don’t use the same password for every application or website you need a password for. You might want to write your passwords down and keep them in a secure place, such as a filing cabinet. One easy way that I find to remember different passwords for applications and websites is to add the first and last two letters of the website name at the end of the password. For example, for Facebook I’d add a “faok” at the end of the password, for Gmail I’d add a “gmil” at the end and so-on. So my password for Yahoo Mail would look like this – Mpm!123Itbt!yail!
- Check to see if your password hasn’t been exposed in a data breach at Have I Been Pwned: Pwned Passwords.
- Enter your password at How Secure Is My Password to see how long it would take for a hacker to crack your password.
- Consider using a password manager such as 1Password to create and securely store unique passwords for all your online accounts.
- For added security change your passwords every 90 days.