Clifford Stoll: Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody use it and get a new one every six months.
Do you use the same password for everything? If you use a different password for, say, your bank, your email, your computer login, or your FedEx account, how do you remember all of them? Do you change them often? Does your job require that your work password(s) be changed every-so-often?
I recently read: Think of a computer password as being a front door to your wealth and secrets. Aside from the fact that there’s not much wealth….it’s best to secure your money and your cloak-and-dagger things.
Think about how sophisticated hackers are these days. I’m sure they’re constantly updating their programs to enable them to bust into our secret vaults at any time. A defense to more elaborate hacking programs is to use a longer password. A former hacker recommends maybe using a sentence or phrase that you create. Something that’s extra-hard to hack but easy to remember. Maybe something like My Aunt Sylvia has loved me since I was a child. For even more security, add a number or symbol at the end, along with a capital letter or two.
Never store your passwords on your computer. Instead, use password manager apps that store passwords in a well-protected digital space. All you need is a master password to access the list. Some apps use cloud technology (like LastPass and Dashlane) and some put the vault on your hard drive (see RoboForm, Password Safe, or KeePass). I’ve used Dashlane and it’s been very helpful. Click here for a free account. Dashlane
It’s recommended that you change your passwords on all your accounts once a year. And be sure to change your password if you’re notified by a website that its security has been breached.
And lastly, vary your passwords. Cybersecurity experts say: Why let one key unlock every one of your digital doors?