In today’s world, a password could be the only thing standing between a hacker and every piece of your personal information. To better protect yourself against attacks, consider our tips and tricks for creating safe, secure passwords.

What a secure password is not. Your name and date of birth does not count as a secure password. If hackers have any of your information at all, this will be the first combination they try (most likely followed by your name and address). Much of your information, believe it or not, is easily searched and obtained through Google. Do not make the mistake of believing you are beyond hackers' reach. If you are not careful, hackers hold the power to destroy lives by stealing personal information, wiping out email inboxes and accessing confidential, sensitive bank accounts. Doesn’t sound like too much fun? Change your passwords. If you have trouble remembering passwords, try using a password storage software system like 1Password or LastPass.

What a secure password is. Do you get annoyed when websites ask for letters, numbers and symbols? While making new passwords (and trying to remember them) can be annoying, thank those websites that are looking out for you. Since you create all of the passwords you use, the only person you can blame for creating a bad password is yourself. Don’t give hackers the upper hand! Follow these suggestions:

  • Differentiate passwords from site to site
  • Use multiple lowercase letters, numbers, capital letters, symbols, etc.
  • Make your password at least eight characters in length
  • Avoid using your name, company name or username

Have a little fun with it. Having a secure password doesn’t mean you're restricted to using a long string of random letters, numbers and symbols. Try to think of ways to make the monotonous task of password creation more exciting! For example: Isaw2kitten$on3rdst (I Saw 2 Kittens On 3rd St.) or $kitrip2aspenin6weeks! (Ski Trip 2 Aspen in 6 weeks!). These phrases might be silly -- and are definitely not the most secure passwords you could ever create -- but at least they give you a laugh every time you type them into your email, Target, Google or Facebook account.

Next time you are asked to put in a password, remember to create a new one to protect yourself as much as possible!

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