I used to dread the reminder I got every month to update my password. It led to me researching the best tips I could find to make the process more bearable. After all, there were only so many variations of my cat’s name I could think of.
In the process of learning good password strategies, I learned what I was using wasn’t even safe. It might have been 10 years ago, but not today. I’ll share my tips for creating a safe password and how to keep your password itself safe.
5 Basic Password Tips
Keep the following in mind when creating your next password:
- Use at least 8 characters
- Don’t use your name, a complete word or user name
- Make sure it’s different from any other password you’ve used before (and not by just one character)
- Use different kinds of characters like uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols if possible
- Have a different password for each account you own
You can also read this article on the 500 passwords you should never use.
Examples of Great Passwords
These tips might make sense, but that doesn’t make it easy to think of a password that meets the rules. Fortunately, there are tips for that, too.
1. Try using an acronym for something easy to remember. For example, “I got my dog Sammy on 10/6/13!” can turn into “IgmdSo10613!” – a strong password!
2. You can also use your keyboard for inspiration. “3edcft6yhnji9” may seem impossible to remember, but it was actually me tracing a “W” on the keyboard.
If you want to make your new password more secure, go through and try using numbers and symbols for letters. The “IgmdSo10613!” example can be turned into “1gmd$@10613!” – now it’s even stronger.
Keeping Your Password Safe
Even if you create the toughest password to crack, it will be no good if your information is vulnerable. Make sure you:
- Never write down your password. If you need help remembering, use tools like Roboform or 1Password.
- Change your password every 30-90 days.
- Make sure your password recovery settings are up-to-date.
For more information on staying safe online, check out this article.