Cybersecurity MONDAY

How strong are your passwords?

Everywhere we go online it seems we are asked for a password.  Most of us are concerned about online safety, yet it is reported that 81% of Americans use the same password for more than one account (Survey by Wakefield Research, 2017).  Along with using the same password over and over, frequently that password is weak to start with.  Maybe it is time to consider resetting your passwords.  Here are some tips we found that could help.

Don’t just use one password.

If someone gets ahold of that password, then they could try to use it to log in to your other accounts. 

Newest advice: Use a pass phrase.

Security experts are now recommending a “pass phrase” rather than simply a password. Such a phrase should be relatively long – perhaps 20 characters or so and consist of seemingly random words strung together along with numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. Think of something that you can remember but others couldn’t guess, such as YellowChocolate#56CadillacFi$h.  Avoid using famous quotations that might be easy to guess.

Make the password at least 12 characters long.

The longer the better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack.


Include numbers, capital letters, and symbols.

Consider using a $ instead of an S or a 1 instead of an L, or including an & or % – but note that $1ngle is NOT a good password. Password thieves are onto this. But Mf$J1ravng (short for “My friend Sam Jones is really a very nice guy) is an excellent password.

Don’t post it in plain sight.

This might seem obvious, but studies have found that a lot of people post their password on their monitor with a sticky note. Bad idea. If you must write it down, hide the note somewhere that no one can find it.

Remember to never give out your password to anyone. Never give it to friends, even if they’re really good friends. A friend can – maybe even accidentally – pass your password along to others or even become an ex-friend and abuse it.

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