Skip to Main Content

How-Tuesday: How to Create Strong + Secure Passwords Online

Today, more than ever before, it's crucial that we take the time to create strong and secure passwords to ensure our online accounts are better protected from online hackers and security breaches. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating great passwords and keeping them safe.

Image source: / Photographer: A. and I. Kruk

How to Create a Secure Password

Create a password that contains at least 8 characters. The longer your password, the better. If you're able, a password that contains up to 12 or 15 characters will be even harder for online thieves to crack.

Include a mix of numbers, capital letters, and symbols ($#@!*.) Even a long password may not be secure if it's written without variation. Thieves may easily guess "password" but would have a harder time guessing "!P@$$w0Rd#" (side note: don't use the word "password" for your password!)

Don't use personal information or common words. It may be wise to use phrases from inside jokes or incredibly difficult-to-guess sentimental dates in a password, but if the whole world knows your beloved pet's name is Oliver or that your wedding anniversary is December 10, and you use these in a password, they aren't nearly as secure. Additionally, using common dictionary words on their own is a major no-no, too.

Additional Tips

Don't give your password out to anyone - including friends or family members. While they may not intend to cause harm by knowing/using your password, they may forget to log you out, enter it at an insecure log-in, or, if you have a falling out, use it to cause you harm.

Mix it up. Don't use just one password for all of your accounts - create a variety of passwords instead. If an online thief obtains your password from one site, he or she could easily use it to get into more of your accounts.

Don't physically write your passwords down. If you must, make sure they're kept in a safe location that no strangers, co-workers, houseguests, or family or friends can get their hands on. Consider using trusted online and mobile password keepers and password managers instead.

Make sure your devices are secure. A great password is a good start, but won't stand a chance against malicious software. Make sure your operating system is up-to-date and that it's using the most up-to-date anti-malware software, too.

Consider using multi-factor authentication. These services will send you a text or e-mail letting you know when your accounts have been logged-into on unrecognized devices.

Change passwords often. Mark your calendar to freshen up your passwords every 30-60 days.

For more information on creating secure passwords, visit the original source of these tips.

Return to the top of the page