With more and more of our personal data being stored on our computers, giving thoughtful consideration to a password strategy can go a long way in preventing data from being compromised. The following tips are presented as a guide to assist you in password selection.
At least eight characters long
A combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation and other symbols
Quick to type, in case anyone is peering over your shoulder
Your first name, last name, or login name, in any form
Consecutive or repetitive numbers or letters
Adjacent keyboard letters such as qwerty or asdfghjk
Common and obvious letter-number replacements (e.g. replace the letter O with number 0)
Easily guessed personal information such as names and dates of yourself, family members, pets and close acquaintances
Easily obtained information, such as:
license plate numbers
credit card or ATM numbers
Social Security or Social Insurance numbers
Dictionary words, in any language, forward and backward
Popular book titles, movie titles, or phrases
Never share your password with anyone. Protect all passwords as you would protect your bank PIN.
Never store passwords unencrypted on your computer. Password management software is great for managing many passwords, but take great care to protect access to your password database with a strong password, access card or USB key! (Or better, a combination of these).
Never type your password when anyone is standing nearby.
Beware of phishing scams.
Change your password frequently.
Never use the same password in many places, especially online!