Criminals often try common and easy to guess passwords in an attempt to illegally hack into online accounts. The following tips can help you to create strong passwords that are more difficult to crack:
- Do not use publically accessible or well-known information about yourself, such as:
- your name or names of friends, pets, or family members.
- special dates like anniversaries or birthdates.
- social security or other identification numbers like employee IDs or driver license numbers.
- Avoid using complete words that appear in any dictionary regardless of the language.
- One approach is to start with the first letters of a familiar phrase. For example, "Mary had a little lamb" becomes Mhall, which could be part of a secure password.
- Mix it up! Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation/special characters, such as &^$#.
- Create a different password for each website you have a login for, especially for sites that contain financial information. Avoid using a social account like Twitter or Facebook to create accounts on other websites.
Once you’ve created strong passwords - keep them to yourself! You never know what the future will bring in relationships or coworkers, so do not give your password out to anyone. If you access a lot of different websites, there are programs and devices available where you can securely store your passwords. Don’t write them down in a place where others can find them.
Additional Resources on Keeping Your Information Safe: