Create Stronger Online Passwords to Protect Your Personal Information

The first thing to consider when creating a new password is its length—your password should also be complex

Create Stronger Online Passwords to Protect Your Personal Information
Image: Pixabay
March 15, 2018

The biggest mistake many people make when coming up with an online password is making it far too simple for the sake of being able to easily remember it.

While this may have been acceptable at one time, modern hackers can often quickly uncover and decode simple passwords for virtually any type of online account including email accounts, bank and credit card information, and even your social security number.

All it takes is for one person to gain access to your personal information one time, and your life could truly be turned upside down. The only way to stop them is to make it nearly impossible for them to access your accounts.

The first thing to consider when creating a new password is its length.

While most secure websites and programs will require a password containing a minimum of 5-7 characters, we recommend at least 8-10, if not more. The longer your password is, the more secure it's considered to be.

Your new password should also be complex.

Don't simply use the names of your kids or pets or the street you live on. These are the first things someone trying to access your information will try. Birthdays and anniversary dates are also a bad idea. Instead, make it as complicated as possible by using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, punctuation, symbols and numbers.

Use a password generator if you need help.

If you need some help, there are a number of great password creation programs out there that will assist you in coming up with a strong, secure password. It's free and completely anonymous. Symantec's Secure Password Generator is a great option.

Once you have your new password, it's up to you to memorize it. Incorporating each character into a sentence that is easy for you to remember is often a big help. You'll have it down in no time! Best of all, you can rest assured that your personal information is a lot more secure!

Visit Symantec's password generator

Get more online password tips and tricks at FTC.gov