The password: It protects important personal, professional and financial information online. And you’ve heard the warnings: Never use the same password across accounts; don’t choose familiar words or numbers; change your password frequently.
But, with the number of accounts people need to access, this might be challenging.
It’s a password conundrum: How do you keep your data secure and still remember all your passwords? From good old-fashioned memory techniques to tools and apps, here are a few ideas to help.
According to GCFLearnFree.org the more diverse and longer the combination of letters, numbers and symbols, the harder a password is for hackers to crack. To that end, they recommend never using personal information, always using at least six characters, including both numbers and symbols, and avoiding words that can be found in the dictionary, among other things.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warns us, however, to watch out for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as using the numeral “0” for the letter “o” or “1” for the letter “i,” as cybercriminals’ sophisticated tools can catch on quickly.
You should also avoid using familiar phrases, famous song lyrics and quotations, says US-CERT. Instead, they suggest you create passphrases. For example, you could turn “I like to walk my two dogs in Jefferson Park.” into “iLtWm2dIJp!”
Even with the techniques above, when you’re managing numerous accounts and using more than one device, it’s easy to lose track of some of your login information. If you’re still having trouble remembering all your passwords, you have a few options:
Once you’ve found a system for choosing strong passwords — and remembering them — you’ll be able to help minimize the chances of your data being compromised.
Originally published on April 15, 2014.