Using short, simple passwords or the same password for all of your online accounts puts you at a higher risk of a security breach or identity theft. To increase your protection, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Some websites have their own specific character requirements. Here are some tips to help you create a password that’s less likely to be cracked.
Use a Variation of Characters
- Use at least one uppercase letter
- Use at least one lowercase letter
- Use a number
- Use a symbol from this set: ! @ $ % %5E & * ( ) – _ = + [ ] ; : ‘ ” , < .> / ?
- Use at least eight characters
- Don’t use repeating characters
- Don’t use spaces
Don’t Make it Easy to Guess
- Don’t use a common, dictionary word—not even spelled backward.
- Don’t use your name, a relative’s name, a close friend’s name, or a pet’s name.
- Don’t use personal numbers, including your driver’s license, license plate, social security, phone number, or birthday.
- Do change your passwords monthly; if you need to write them down, put them in a safe place and don’t include the URL.
- Do use a password that’s at least eight characters long.
- Don’t use the same password for all your accounts.