Choosing a strong password – and remembering it – can be challenging, but it is your first line of defense against cyber attacks. The stronger your password, the more secure your computer and accounts may be. Learn how to select and store them safely:
- Make your passwords cryptic so they cannot be easily guessed; be sure it is something you can remember.
- Avoid writing down your passwords. If you do, keep them in a secure location – a safe, a locked file cabinet or lockbox perhaps.
- To create a strong password, use 8 characters or more in an alphanumeric combination. You should not use complete words. Also, avoid using your name or company's name in your passwords.
- Never share your passwords with anyone. That includes coworkers, family members and friends.
- Be sure to choose different passwords for all of your accounts. Using the same password for each account is like using the same key to unlock your office, home and car – if the wrong person gains access to one, he or she has easy access to the rest.
- If you are a business owner, consider having automatic password expiration dates that require employees to enter a new password after a certain amount of time. Some companies set the expiration date at every 90 days. If you do this, consider not allowing employees to use older passwords within a specified time period.