Hacking and password-cracking tools are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and with more and more personal information being stored in online accounts, it's more important than ever to make sure your accounts are secure. The best place to start is with a strong password.

Password Standards

Passwords should have a collection of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers, and should be 12 characters or longer. If your password is an ordinary word or name, a keyboard sequence, all letters, all lowercase, or fewer than 12 characters, you should change it to something stronger. That said, don't rely on tricky mixes of symbols, numbers, and uppercase letters alone. A mix of symbols, numbers, and uppercase letters makes a password stronger, but that alone won’t make a simple password strong. For example, LetM3in isn't much better than just letmein when it comes to security.

Remember Your Password with a Phrase

To keep it simple, stick with a word or phrase you know and remember. Add symbols or numbers in place of letters where it might make sense to you, but not to others. The key here is to stay away from commonly-used words or phrases, and to stay above 12 characters. Excellent passwords are long and complex, but easy to remember.

Strong passwords can also be created by stringing unrelated words together in a way that's memorable to you because it’s humorous (Inevitable culinary cat freedomcorrect horse battery staple, etc.). While the entire phrase is long enough to be used as an effective password, a mix of numbers and symbols adds an extra layer of security.

Examples of Strong Passwords

  • 1Likethaif00d4breakfast!
  • SoftKleenexMakesHappyN0ses!
  • Th3y%reG00dD0gz