How to create a strong password

In this digital age, we need a password for nearly everything. Keeping your information safe online starts with creating a strong password for every account.

Strong password tips

  • The strongest passwords are at least 12 characters and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (!@#$&^%).

  • Create a mnemonic device to remember your passwords. Your bank password could use a dollar sign and emoticons based on how you feel about it. Something like “R0LL!nG$in1T;)” is secure and can be remembered without too much hassle. Notice that this password isn’t actually a dictionary word, which makes it more difficult to hack.

  • Change your passwords often, at least every 90 days. If you are likely to forget, set a reminder in your calendar or phone.

  • Use a password manager to make it easier to create and save many unique, strong passwords. Most password keeper programs will generate strong passwords for you, and allow you to organize, access, or share secure passwords with one master login.

Password warnings

  • Don’t use your personal information in a password. This includes names, birthdates, anniversaries, or street names.
  • Don’t use the same password in multiple places. This includes using the same password with just one or two characters changed. If someone hacks your password on one site, your other accounts that use that same password become compromised.
  • Avoid common keyboard patterns like qwerty or asdfg.
  • Don’t recycle previously used passwords when you update your password.

Is your password safe?

You might be wondering if your password is easy to hack. According to NordPass, 17 of the 20 most common passwords can be hacked in less than a second. These common passwords include 123456, admin, password, and 111111. Cybercriminals attempt to hack accounts with a tactic called "password spraying," where they try a list of the most common passwords on different accounts until they get in. Criminals can use your data for a variety of purposes online, including accessing your financial information.

Download CenturyLink Security by McAfee to protect your devices.

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