You can do almost everything on the Internet nowadays. Check your bank account, pay bills, make purchases, share photos and letters with friends from all over the world.
Yes, you can run your life online—which makes it doubly important to choose a strong Internet password and protect your information (and cash!) from strangers. Here are some secrets to a strong Internet password.
Internet password tip # 1: There’s strength in numbers
It’s best to have an internet password that’s at least 6 characters long. Anything shorter can be hacked by software. Why? The longer the character string, the harder it is for anyone to hit a right combination. In fact, Microsoft recommends using a 14 character code.
Now how do you make a long password that you can actually remember? Read on.
Internet password tip # 2: Create your password formula
As a rule, passwords that use actual dictionary words (even those spelled backwards) can eventually be hacked. Try forming a sentence and then using the letters from the first words. For example ‘My favorite food is chocolate chip cookies’ becomes ‘mfficcc.’
Internet password tip # 3: Combine letters with numbers or symbols
To make your password even more difficult to hack, add numbers or symbols. For example ‘mfficcc!’ (or ‘my favorite food is chocolate chip cookies!’ or even ‘mfficcc!24’ – the 24 is the number of cookies in a homemade batch.
Never use number combinations that can be found on your personal public record (like your birthday or age). Instead pick something that you’d remember but would probably be impossible for anyone else to care about or associate with you—like your best friend’s phone number, or the day your partner proposed.
Internet password tip # 4: Switch it around
It’s best to use different passwords for different accounts, so you won’t compromise all your Internet accounts in case one gets hacked.
Yeah, we know, it’ll be hard to remember all those passwords. So you could write them down, but never on your computer or virtual file. Some possible places: your address book (under another name), or tape it underneath your computer drawer.
Internet password tip # 5: Keep your secret
It goes without saying that Internet hackers can tap into any virtual communication. So never share your password in an email, and don’t click ‘remember me’ when you access your sites on a public computer. And while you may be comfortable checking your Facebook in a public computer, it may be best to access really sensitive accounts (like your bank data) when you’re at home.
Internet password tip # 6: Consider software protection
You can get a password manager so you only need one master password, or download shareware that protects Internet passwords.
Photo from comtrec.com