How Secure Are Your Passwords?

Website Login MacroWe all know how convenient it is to sit on the couch with our laptop and do a little shopping. You can browse the latest book releases, order that shampoo you forgot to pick up when you were at the salon last week, or try out those little smiley face sponges you saw on Shark Tank. A few clicks and they show up on your front porch.

While you’re using this convenient form of shopping, have you ever considered the risk of having your credit card information on these websites? How secure are the passwords that you use to access your favorite websites?

Microsoft offers the following tips for a strong password:

  • Is at least eight characters long.
  • Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
  • Does not contain a complete word.
  • Is significantly different from previous passwords.
  • Contains characters from each of the following four categories:
Character category Examples
Uppercase letters A, B, C
Lowercase letters a, b, c
Numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Symbols found on the keyboard (all keyboard characters not defined as letters or numerals) and spaces ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ – + = { } [ ] \ | : ; ” ‘ < > , . ? /

If you have trouble remembering passwords that meet all of these criteria, try relating it to a sentence or phrase that means something to you. Create an acronym from something that you can remember, such as “I love shopping on Amazon especially when I get free shipping”. This could be converted to “IlsoAewIg$0s.”

If writing down your password is the only way you feel you will remember it, don’t label it as your password, and keep it in a safe place like a locked desk drawer.

What tips do you have for creating secure passwords and remembering them?

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