There’s a saying when it comes to online passwords: they’re like a toothbrush. That’s because you want a good toothbrush (just like a password), you should change it often (just like a password) and you should never share it (just like a password!).
There are some key dos and don’ts that can help:
- use personal information that could be easily guessed or accessed, like your birthday (which happens more often than you might think) — it’s easy for you to remember, but easy for someone shady to find
- use actual words that you can find in actual language (any language)
- use the same password for all of your accounts
- use a different password for each account
- combine capital letters, numbers and special characters
- change your password once every three months or so — and immediately if a site notifies you of a security breach
- use the Master Password feature in Firefox (more on that here.)
By now you’re probably thinking, “I can’t remember my keys in the morning. How am I supposed to remember all these new passwords all the time?”
Here are a few steps to creating easy-to-remember passwords that are still secure.
- Choose a phrase — let’s try “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
- Use the first letter in each word and capitalize the first one: Tqbfjotld
- Make it stronger by adding a special character: Tqbfjotld!
- Now, associate it with each website you log in to. For example, you could use YT for YouTube, FB for Facebook, your bank’s initials — you get the point. So your password would now look like this:
YTTqbfjotld! (for YouTube)
FBTqbfjotld! (for Facebook)
and so on, and so on…
Choosing secure passwords will go a long way to keeping you safe online.