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8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

Today being Data Privacy Day and all, it's a perfect time to revisit that most basic element of internet security -- the password.
Just because your password replaces an "E" with a "3" and ends in an exclamation point doesn't make you invincible.

Here are some pointers to see how secure your password is and then pick a newer, stronger password if needed.

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

1. First of all, make sure you're not using one of these passwords

An analysis of hacked Yahoo accounts reveals some interesting trends in commonly-chosen passwords, reports The Star.

"123456" is at the top of the list, followed by "qwerty," "welcome," "ninja," and "abc123." If these sound like passwords of yours, it's time to make a change.


Related: Your Online Privacy Is Even More Important Today

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

2. Make them long

Longer passwords are obviously harder to crack. Make sure you're consistently exceeding the minimum length requirement on passwords that you pick.

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

3. Remember a complicated password

Lifehacker offers the following tip to make sure you're using a relatively complex password while having no problem remembering it.

"I always tell people to use a sentence. I drive a 1978 Volkswagen! = IDA78VW! or Living At Home Since 1972 Sux = L@HS72SX"

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

4. Don't use the same password for everything

If someone successfully cracks one password, it'll be the first password he guesses for your next web service. Make sure you're using several different passwords to prevent this from happening.


Related: These People Love Tech Brands So Much They Got Tattoos of Them

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

5. Invent a system to generate new passwords

Use a simple rule set to generate new passwords for each service you're logging into. Start with a base password and have a rule for attaching characters from the service onto the base.

For example, if your base is "a12b" and you want to log into Gmail, you might throw "gml" on the end, making your complete password "a12bgml."

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

6. Change it often

Switching passwords a few times a year makes it even more difficult for your account to be hacked.

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

7. Use two-step verification for Google

Google offers two-step verification for your account -- once a month you'll receive a text message that you'll have to type in before entering your normal password. It's one more thing we recommend doing to keep you safe online.

8 Steps to Creating Stronger Passwords

8. When you're all done, test your password

You can use a site like How Secure Is My Password to make sure your password will stand up to would-be hackers.


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