It’s hard to remember every password you’re currently using. Sometimes I sit and stare at a blank login screen for a couple of minutes before I remember that long string of characters and numbers. Sometimes I’m tempted to use the worst password of all time (“password”) just until I can come up with a better one. I’m just as guilty as anyone for using low-quality passwords to protect some important information. This includes my email, bank accounts, and even my social media accounts.
With the Heartbleed bug out there and surely, there are other security breaches that we don’t know about, it’s always a great idea to change your password to something super-strong. Something that a computer couldn’t guess in a a thousand years.
- drowssap (“password” backwards)
- 06141978 (birthdays)
- DallasCowboys (sports teams)
Those good passwords look like gibberish, I know, but using random characters along with letters and numbers truly cuts down on identity theft. Here are a few tips on how to make the perfect password.
1. The best passwords are a completely random mix of numbers, letters and characters
2. At least 6 characters long. Anything shorter is not very strong at all.
3. No identifying words or phrases. (That means no references to your birthday or place of birth.)
4. A good mix of lowercase and uppercase letters.
5. Throw in some special characters and punctuation.
I know it’s tough when you’re setting up an account or being forced to change your password, to come up with an original one or not use a previous one, but you must resist the urge to continue using the same 4-5 passwords. I’m also guilty of writing down my passwords, which is a bad idea, simply because, if someone were to get a hold of my “password book”, it could mean serious problems for me.
I’ve considered using a password “wallet” program (such as Password Genie or LastPass) to help me remember all of those logins. The best thing about a password program is that they are encrypted, so if someone were to be able to hack into and read the contents of your computer, they still cannot read your passwords.
If you’re still having trouble coming up with a strong password, I recommend StrongPasswordGenerator.com. They’ll give you a great password and the mnemonic so you can remember it. Give it a shot!
Identities are stolen everyday and as long as we are dependent on the internet for our essential details (emails, banks, social media), there will be thieves out there wanting access. Stop them in their tracks by changing all of your passwords today.