Is Your Password Protecting Your Information?

For most of us, passwords are just one more thing to keep up with during the day.  Some web browsers, like Google Chrome, will offer to save your password for a site to make it easier to access your bank account, email, or even your job management software.  To make it more straightforward, most of us use the same password (or similar variations) for almost everything, but should we?  Below are some helpful hints for making your password stronger and thereby further protecting your information.

1. Never use the default password.  Many websites will give you a default password to start off with, but they expect users to update those passwords once they log into the system.  Just think, if this is the default password for your account, it is probably the default password to every other user that has ever been created, too.  

2. Each password should be a minimum of 15 characters (if applicable).  The word "password" is starting to become outdated; instead, think of your password as your "pass-phrase".  Thinking in this context will also make it easier to come up with 15 characters.  Whether it be the first sentence of the book you are reading, a lyric to your favorite song, or a short quote, a "pass-phrase" will secure your information more than just a pass"word".

3. Use upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols.  This one is probably more obvious and even required by some websites for their passphrases (see what we did there?).  Though the sentiment is more apparent, it is one of the strongest ways to protect your information.  The more unique the password, the more effective it will be.