When it comes to passwords, we’ve got a lot to remember!  Afterall – EVERYTHING needs a password. You’ve got accounts for your banking, electric service, wireless phones, cable, email accounts, online shopping accounts, gaming, Facebook, other social media… the list goes on and on.   So how, to you manage them all?

Years ago, a nice piece of paper would work.  Today it’s got to be different – and for good reason.  With cyber crimes on the rise and identity theft increasing, we must take every precaution to be safe online.

How many of you use the same password for multiple sites?

Do you use your name and a number code?

These are easily guessed by hackers.  There are hacking software programs that you can get that work on the premise of words found in the dictionary and number combinations.  Crazy, right?

So, we’ve got to get creative.  First things, first.  Find a safe way to store your passwords.  Many of these apps are available on your phone or computer for free.  Some offer premier subscriptions if you want to go that route, but it’s not required.   These services help you keep all of your passwords organized, help you identify vulnerable passwords and even offer a password generator to help you randomize your passwords.  Some suggestions:

Dashlane, Password Safe, 1Password, RoboForm, MSecure, PasswordBox, Keeper, oneSafe, Lastpass

When it comes to passwords themselves, if we aren’t using a password app to save our information, the least we can do is come up with clever ways to change our passwords to make it harder to be hacked.

  1. Make your passwords at least 8-12 characters long.
  2. Use special characters like (, %, or #.
  3. Don’t use words found in the dictionary, so avoid using passwords like graycat12
  4. Mix caps and lowercase letters.
  5. Use the first letter in a sentence to create a unique password that would be easy for you to memorize, but not someone else. I went to London in February and met 3 people.  Iw2LiF&m3p
  6. Don’t share your passwords with anyone. Seriously, just don’t. Relationships change, things happen.  Keep your information to yourself.
  7. Use different passwords for all accounts.   We all get in the habit, it’s easier.  But try not to use the same password for multiple sites.  It’s just not as safe as you could be.
  8. Use a password generator. They are on the internet, just google them.

Share this information with your parents and children.   Be safe out there!