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How To Create Strong Passwords

This post about how to create strong passwords was inspired by my ambassadorship with HotSpot Shield.

I remember going to lunch one day with a couple friends. One of them was late because she had lost her debit card, and she was telling us about it. My other friend assured her that it would probably be fine because it’s not like she was using her name as a pin.

*crickets*

She was! She was using her name as a pin! Who does that? No, no, no!

I know passwords are a pain in the butt to remember when you make them complicated, but you HAVE to make them complicated for your own protection!

computer mouse - lock and key - password

Create strong passwords

–The longer the password, the better. It should be at least 8 characters and include numbers, punctuation symbols and capital letters. The more variety in the characters you use, the safer the password will be.

–Don’t use words that are found in the dictionary, backwards words, common misspellings and abbreviations.

–Change passwords often. Set up an automatic reminder to prompt you to change them at least once a quarter.

–Don’t use the same password everywhere. Each site should have its own unique password.

–Avoid sequences, repeated characters and neighboring keys on the keyboard.

–Don’t use your name, birth date, driver’s license number or anything that is personally identifiable.

–Make a password that is easy for you to remember but hard for anyone else to guess. For instance, create a sentence and turn it into a shorthand password of mixed letters, numbers and symbols. (I have 4 cats, 8 dogs and 2 snakes could be Ih4c8Dat$)

–Before you sign in anywhere that requires a password, make sure you’re on a secure connection, at a secure website and that your malware software protection is up to date.

Tip: Use a free VPN service (virtual private network) like  Hotspot Shield which encrypts and secures your data even while using public internet.  Hotspot Shield is the largest free VPN service with over 10 million users, including me.

hotspot-shield logo

Key benefits of HotSpot Shield VPN:

  • Secures web sessions with HTTPS encryption
  • Protects IP address – each time you sign in to the internet with HotSpot Shield, you’ll be assigned a new US IP address to mask yours.
  • Surf anonymously – the encryption keeps your digital footprint protected
  • Unblock websites – unblocks any sites so you can access them from anywhere (for example, at work or school)
  • Malware protection – full protection now included in the latest software version

I’d like to think I create strong passwords, but I’m sure I have room for improvement.  How about you? Do you change them frequently enough? 

About Liz

Liz Mays is a professional lifestyle blogger in coastal North Carolina. She loves writing about food and sharing recipes, and has a passion for travel, tech, entertainment, home decor and style.

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Comments

  1. I’m really bad about this. I really need to change them…

  2. I do something similar to that too!

  3. i would have never thought about using one from a sentence…
    (like the one about your pets… great idea!)

  4. Thanks for the really important tips. I sometimes create complex passwords only to find myself forgetting them and having to reset, but that’s better than too easy!

  5. I definitely follow a lot of those tips. I try my best to create strong passwords.

  6. This is some great information! I always worry about my passwords!