You have passwords for a lot of stuff – your email, your banking website, your work computer and more. How do you know your passwords are safe? Keeping your passwords under lock and key protects your personal information and reduces your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. If you’re unsure, use this handy info from the experts to make sure your passwords are as safe and hack-proof as possible. You’ll be so glad you took the time to read this article.
1. Choose Different Passwords for All Your Accounts
I’m the kind of person that has trouble remembering my passwords so I just make them all the same. Bad idea! If hackers are able to get that password, suddenly they have access to all your stuff, not just one account. Create a memorable password for each of your different things and you’ll be way better off.
2. Don’t Pick a Password with Special Meaning
Your passwords should basically be nonsense combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Using things like your pet’s name, your address, the dates of birth of your kids or your anniversary date give a hacker an easy place to start when he or she tries to get into your data. Make something up that means nothing and your passwords will be a whole lot safer.
3. Write Your Passwords down, but Keep Them Safe
Never, ever record your passwords on a sticky note or piece of paper and then keep it by your computer. While a thief who hacks into your accounts from your personal computer isn’t all that likely, it’s better safe than sorry. Record your passwords, then store them in a safe or small lockbox. That way, you can access them if you forget, but no one else will be able to get to them.
4. Use at Least Eight Characters, but More is Better
The shorter your password, the easier it will be to figure out. Choose long passwords because they are harder to break. You want to have at least eight characters, but more is always more secure. Make sure you choose a length you can remember – not too long or too short.
5. Mix Upper and Lower Case Letters
This adds extra security to your password. Mix and match upper and lower case letters so that a hacker will have a harder time figuring out what your password is. This should be totally random. That means the first letter doesn’t have to be capital with the rest of them lowercase. Mix it up and make it hard to access.
6. Toss in Punctuation Here and There
Punctuation is obviously random when it appears among letters and numbers. Mix some into your password and you have more assurance that it’s secure. Use exclamation points, question marks, underscore, percentage symbols or whatever you can easily remember and doesn’t mean anything to you.
7. Test Your Password with Security Software
There are several websites that allow you to type in your password and check it for security. You can make sure it will work and get suggestions or tips regarding how to make it as great as possible. The advice will help you figure out which aspects of your password are working and which ones need some improvement. Awesome!
Is your password secure? Did you learn anything here that will help you make the safest passwords around? Any other tips to share?