Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your computer and personal information.

The stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. Weak passwords leave your computers, personal information, and accounts vulnerable to attack.

Tips to create a strong password

  • Think of a sentence that you can remember, this will be the basis of your strong password.
  • Should be 12-15 characters in length.
  • Add complexity by mixing uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers.
  • It is valuable to use some letter swapping or misspellings as well. Substitute some special characters using symbols that look like letters. Combine words (remove spaces) and other ways to make the password more complex.

Password strategies to avoid

  • Avoid sequences or repeated characters such as “12345678,” “222222, “abcdefg,” or adjacent letters on your keyboard.
  • Avoid your login name. Any part of your name, birthday, social security number, or similar information constitutes a bad password choice.
  • Avoid dictionary words in any language. Criminals use sophisticated tools that can rapidly guess passwords that are based on words in multiple dictionaries. This includes words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and substitutions.
  • Avoid using online storage. If malicious users find these passwords stored online or on a networked computer, they have access to all your information

Keep your passwords secret

  • Keep your passwords private.
  • Protect your passwords and be careful where you store the passwords that you record or write down.
  • Never provide your password in an email request. Any email that requests your password or directs you to a website to verify your password is almost certainly fraudulent. This includes requests from a trusted company or individual. Phishing scams use fraudulent email messages to entice you into revealing your user names and passwords.
  • Change your passwords regularly. This can help keep criminals and other malicious users unaware.
  • Update passwords frequently, setup multi-factor authentication and enable biometric login when available.
  • Avoid the “Remember Me” options when logging into online or mobile accounts, as these settings store your credentials.

 

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