As more and more of your life moves online, the need to maintain a secure computing environment is critical. Creating a password isn’t good enough, it needs to be a STRONG password. A common misconception however is many think a strong password is hard to remember. Not true and good news for you, today I’ll review how to create an easy to remember, yet rock solid passwords.
How to choose a good, secure password
- A secure password is a unique password. As tempting as it might be, never use the same password on multiple websites. Sharing passwords between sites is like Russian Roulette. All it takes is one website hack to ruin your day especially if that password is used across all your online accounts. Add a layer of security to your online footprint by using unique passwords.
- Don’t use dictionary words. Yeah I know, your kids are really cute but their names make horrible passwords as do months of the year and cute furry pets. Dictionary words are easy to guess and there’s about a million apps out there which specialize in attacking accounts using dictionary words in all known languages.
- Contrary to popular belief, passwords written on a yellow sticky and hidden under a keyboard does not make it secure. In almost all cases, if the worst happens and you forget your password, you can almost always reset it using your email address.
- Use a pass phrase. You mean like an actual phrase? Yes, that’s exactly what I mean! The great thing about a passphrase is it’s long, it’s not a dictionary word and in some cases it’s easy to include special characters which are tough to guess. For example, a previous password I’ve used in the past was: my laptop is black and ugly! – Wow, a 28 character password that’s easy to remember (I just look at my laptop) and nearly impossible to guess or hack (unless you look at my laptop…). Some services out there like Twitter don’t allow spaces in passwords so you will need to adjust from time to time.
- Like most things, passwords need maintenance. In other words, if you’ve been using the same password for a few months – change it. Again, using a pass phrase you shouldn’t have a problem coming up with a simple, unique phrase you can easily remember…
Coming up with secure passwords is quite simple if you follow the steps I’ve outlined. Now go, right now, create a STRONG password and change the passwords on all your online accounts starting with your Facebook and Twitter Passwords.
Do you know someone who could use a little help coming up with stronger, more secure passwords? Do them a favor and share these tips with them today!