With news of more passwords being stolen, it seemed like a good time to review some sage advice on taking care of your passwords.
Use a different password for every website you visit.
Using the same password for more than one website or service may seem to make things easier, but consider what happens if a hacker gets your password from a site that you use. Soon the attacker will have access to all of your sites. If remembering all of those different passwords is a problem, consider using a password manager as mentioned below, or a technique known as Password Haystacks.
Use a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols.
Create unique passwords – don’t use your date of birth, social security number, or recognizable words. Try to use one with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols and make the password as meaningless as you can remember. The more original you are the better. According to password management company SplashData, the top three passwords of the year are “123456,” “password” and “12345678″, please avoid these ones.
Try a password manager.
Applications such as LastPass, Dashlane, and Norton Identity Safe, allow you to store your passwords in one place, and secure them using just one, really good password. They also have great utilities for helping you generate truly secure passwords, as well as test the passwords that you’re using.
Set up two-step or two-factor authentication.
Two-step authentication asks you to sign in with your password, and then add a second sign-in — a numeric code sent by text, e-mail, or a phone call. That way, even if your password is stolen, the attacker cannot access your account without your phone or email account, too. Many services such as Google and Facebook offer two-factor authentication.