You can never be too careful when it comes to selecting passwords for a new website or service. While it may be easier to remember only a few passwords for all of your sites, it can put the security of your personal information in danger. According to an infographic featured on Entrepreneur.com, two out of five people have been a victim of a stolen password or hacked account. With this in mind, here are a few ways to keep your passwords out of the wrong hands.
Use At Least Two Symbols
Consider adding symbols to replace numbers or letters to create a stronger password if a site will allow you to. For example, you can use a dollar sign instead of an “S” or an at symbol instead of “A.” Little tricks like these will help tighten the security of your current password. If the site you’re visiting does not allow special characters, you can still replace “O” with “0” or “E” with “3.”
Create Compound Words
Even though passwords don’t usually allow spaces, you can still fit multiple words together into one. A common phrase of a family member might be good if it’s easy to remember as the length of the password will make it strong. Be careful of using things like places you have lived or other information that might be found with a quick search. Also avoid using birthdays, the year someone graduated from college, or any other information that could be found online.
Create Easy to Remember Abbreviations
For this one, you can come up with an abbreviation of names for pets you’ve had. For example, if you had pets named Minnie and Manny, you can combine both of their names to MMiannnniye. Alternate between letters to come up with your abbreviation.
Generate Random Passwords
Services like LastPass or Dashlane allow you to automatically generate random passwords on various devices, and store them so memorization isn’t necessary. All you need is to create a master password to encrypt your passwords with either service. Dashlane does charge for use on multiple devices, while LastPass offers various plans for both personal and business use.