When it comes to passwords, sometimes we tend to get sentimental. The name of your first dog. Your high school mascot. The year you graduated college. Your mother’s maiden name. And when we create a password we like, we stick with it.
But – passwords are tricky. You have a lot of accounts – your finances, email, social media – and it becomes easy to use the same passwords across them all. That’s where sometimes a strong password might not be enough. But first, how do you create a secure password?
What makes a strong password?
Strong password tips
A strong password is a mix of things:
- Capital and lowercase letters
- Minimum of 8 characters
- Symbols (@,$,&,*)
Try and incorporate as many as these characters as possible in your passwords. The more complexity, the stronger the password and the harder it is for someone to guess.
Another good tip to creating a secure password? Use a phrase instead of a word. Say you want to use the name of your dog and your birthday month (April) in a password, so you create: Duke4.
Instead of a simple password like that, make it a phrase: duke @pril shower$. By including symbols along with the phrase, you’re adding an extra layer of security to make a strong password.
How to manage your strong passwords
It’s dangerous to use the same password for every account. If a hacker gets their hands on it, then they get your hands on all your information. Try to create different passwords for different sites.
If nothing else, use a different password for your email address. Think about it: even if a hacker doesn’t know your password to your online bank account, they can request a new password to your email address. If they know your email address password, they can then change your banking password and access your account.