You may have seen recommendations for “strong” passwords. But just what makes a password strong. Here are a few hints:
Make your password long. Eight characters is the minimum. 14 characters is better. 25 is better yet. Where you can, make your password longer than shorter.
- Make your password long. Eight characters is the minimum. 14 characters is better. 25 is better yet. Where you can, make your password longer than shorter.
- Use a combination of letters and numbers. Letters, numbers, upper case, lower case and symbols make your password harder to crack.
- Avoid words that are in dictionaries. Embed numbers and symbols in a word. Or think of a sentence or series of words that have meaning to you, and use the first letter of each word as your password.
- Substitute characters. For example, for the letter “O” use the number zero (0). For “S” use the dollar sign ($).
- Avoid easy-to-guess words. Such as your name, company name, hometown, pets’ names. Avoid your birthday or ZIP code. Also, avoid the word “password” or consecutive letters or numerals such as 1234 or “qwerty.”
- Never reuse passwords on other accounts. An exception may be an account that does not have your credit card or bank account numbers or other personal information such as a newspaper website.
- If offered, consider using an option of using two passwords. Gmail offers this when you use a particular computer or device for the first time. With this feature, the service will send a text message to your phone with a code when you try to use the service for the first time from an unrecognized device. You then enter the code from the new device to gain access. The code then expires.
While these measures seem like a hassle, they make it harder for hackers to guess your passwords and gain access to your private information.
The Seattle Times-