Setting a Good Online Password

With Internet fraud on the rise, it is even important to protect your online identity and information. We all have user name and password protected accounts for various services ranging from email accounts to merchant services (Amazon, eBay) to online banking, and if you are like the majority of people you use the same password on most sites. Big mistake. Setting a good password is key when managing and protecting your online accounts.

A good password contains:

– At least eight characters (or the maximum length allowed)

– Both letters and numbers

– Uppercase and lower-case characters

– Special characters such as #, @, !, or $

Always keep your passwords secret. Here are some “nevers” to remember in password protection:

– Never keep a list of all your passwords. If you have trouble remembering your password, see the guidance example below.

– Never check a box that says “Save this password?” at any public or unprotected computer. If you do this, your password can be retrieved by subsequent users very easily.

– Never share your passwords—not even with IT helpdesk or customer service agents.

– Never reuse a password and change your most used passwords frequently.

If you believe that someone else knows your password, change it immediately. One trick for creating a good password that you can easily remember is to take the first letter of each word in an easy-to-remember phrase, and combine it with numbers and special characters.

For example, the first letters in “Good passwords don’t have to be a pain” are “Gpdhtbap”. Changing the “t” representing the word “to” to the number “2” gives you “Gpdh2bap”. Add a period at the end of your password, as in “Gpdh2bap.”, and now you’ve incorporated several aspects of a good password.

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