Passwords are the most critical components of using the internet today. Hackers try to guess passwords to gain access to personal information. Hackers can then use your personal information to harm you – to steal your money, steal your identity, and ruin your reputation and your credit. Are your passwords vulnerable to this type of attack? Find out with our 10 rules for stronger passwords.
10 Rules for Stronger Passwords
Don’t tell your password to anyone!
Nobody should ask for your passwords, and you should never give your passwords to anyone. We recommend that you only give your password to a trusted and verified tech support person. After that tech person finishes fixing your IT problem, you should change your password immediately.
Use unique passwords
Never pick a password that is a name or your pet’s name, even if it’s in a different language. You should also avoid easy to guess numbers, such as your age, zip code, yours or a family member’s birthday, or anniversary.
Don’t use the same password for everything
This is a hard one, but worth the extra effort. You should use a different password for each website. And try to avoid using simple patterns like “amazon4me”, “netflix4me” for different sites because those are too easy to guess.
Create a “Pass Phrase” instead of just one word
For example, think up a few nonsense words and numbers that you can remember, like 54TunafishcarTiresSwimmingPool or $3forPirateHat.
Don’t use obvious placements for your capitals. Instead try something like this “cATsGOODeligHT”.
Use long passwords
Use passwords that are at least 15 characters long. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’ll help you stay more secure. Also, we recommend that you never write down your passwords.
Change your passwords for sensitive web sites
For example, you should change your online banking password every 60-90 days.
Make your security question a password
Sometimes websites ask you to enter an answer for a “security question” in case you forget your password. Instead of answering the question, use a hard to guess password.
Use extra security features
Say yes to dual authenticators! If your bank or webmail offers you these extra security features, use them.
Use the password procedures your company requires. At home consider using a password manager such as KeePass or PasswordSafe. Password mangers make your internet use a lot safer and easier.