Using a unique, secure password is extremely important because it is the only protection you have of preventing someone from using your online information, such as your bank account, credit card accounts, and other vital information. If your password is stolen or compromised, the thief can use that information to also obtain your identity and use your information to ruin your credit and cause you all manner of grief.
To avoid such a consequence, you should create what is called a “strong password,” which means a password that people will not be able to retrieve simply from knowing you and information about you, such as your first name, birthday, Social Security number, or other weak passwords that people use because they are so easy to remember. That’s why they are also so easy to steal!
Worse yet, people who randomly hack into computer systems to obtain passwords of people whom they do not know at all are also a constant threat. Identity theft is on the rise, and you do not want to make it too easy for the thieves to get a hold of important information that they can use for themselves and against you.
There are some simple guidelines which you should follow to create a strong password for your online use. The first rule is to make sure you have a long password. The longer the password, the more likely that a thief will not be able to figure it out. Most websites require that passwords be structured with at least 6 characters of letters, numbers or both. However, you should use at least 8 or more characters – every additional character making up a password makes it exponentially more difficult to hack.
Another important component of making a strong password is to create a one that includes a combination of both letters and numbers. If the web site or software you are using permits symbols as part of a password, that it is even more secure.
Also, use character variations. For example, use an equal combination of letters and numbers and not just 7 letters and 1 number. If you do use all letters or all numbers, make your password is longer so that it is more difficult to determine. The best passwords are those that do not include words in the dictionary, such as random characters and numbers.
Using punctuation marks, and other symbols make your password unique, so do not be afraid to use them as well. You should never use repeated characters such as 1111, or consecutive characters such as ABCD. This makes the password weak and very capable of being hacked into.
Lastly, do not use your login name or any part of your actual name to create a password. Criminals will always try your name, birthday, kid’s names, and other personal information first so it is important to pick a password that has nothing to do with you personally. Just make sure you write down your password and put it someone safe so that you will always remember it.