“Passwords protect every part of your online life. If you don’t treat them properly, you’re exposing yourself to a whole mess of trouble,” writes Lincoln Spector, PC World.
Passwords keep strangers off your computer and smartphone and stop criminals from cleaning out your bank account. Protect yourself with four tips from Spector:
1. Use strong passwords. Avoid words likely to be found in a dictionary, not common names and nothing too short. You need numbers, punctuation and upper-and lower-case letters—a random string of characters.
Create a formula that no one else would guess. For example, says Spector, use the name of your alma mater, spelled backwards, every word that rhymes with free, your phone number typed while holding down the Shift key, and ending with the year you were born squared.
2. Set up a different password for each site. Never duplicate a password.
3. Utilize a password manager. Store all of your passwords in an encrypted password manager. All you need to remember is the password manager’s password. Several you might want to consider:
4. Don’t let anyone know your passwords.
- Don’t type a password on a website that isn’t secure.
- Don’t share a password with anyone you wouldn’t trust with your credit card.
- Don’t email your password to someone else.