How to Create Superhero-Strong Passwords
Usernames and passwords are abundant nowadays, allowing us to access customized information and easily manage our accounts online.
However, it can be difficult to come up with login information that is both secure and easy to remember.
Doing so is crucial, though, to avoid becoming a victim to cyber criminals, who use sophisticated programs to crack passwords and steal your personal information.
So if you're using a password like "123456" or "letmein" it's time to take a few minutes and beef up your password strength.
Luckily, we're here to help with a few simple tips.
- Get creative. Words from the dictionary or common abbreviations aren't going to cut it. Start mixing together letters, numbers and special symbols in a combination only you know. Try substituting special characters for letters, such as $ for S, 3 for E, etc.
- Don't get personal. Avoid using your name, birthdate, driver's license number or other personal information in your passwords. These could potentially be deciphered by hackers.
- Make it long. Passwords should be at least eight characters. Fourteen is even better. String a short phrase or sentence together, take out the spaces and add or substitute some numbers and special characters.
- Don't reuse it. If one of your accounts gets hacked, don't let them all become vulnerable. It's best to create slightly different passwords for each of the sites you visit.
- Check security. Use a tool like Microsoft's Password Checker to find out how strong your new passwords really are.
Remember that a password is ultimately all that stands between your private information and a cyber-thief. Take the time to increase that protection now, or risk dealing with even bigger hassles down the road.