With all the breaches and hackers out there, how much does your password really matter? Simply put: a whole lot. Your password is the baseline between you and an attack, and a strong and unique password can help protect your personal information from being exposed.
So, what makes a good password?
Let’s take a look at an example to understand the difference between a weak password and a strong one.
Password example 1: iluvcats
This password gets an overwhelming score of “not very good” and “easy target.” Why? It includes all lower case letters and all dictionary words. Even though the word “luv” is misspelled, the word is still used in a ‘dictionary attack,’ which includes all incorrect and casual spelling. Let’s try again!
Password example 2: !eye<3ALLc@tz
As you can see, this password passes the test! This complex password has uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers, and although you understand what it means, it’s not purely logical. The symbols are interspersed, and capital letters appear at random. Have a little fun with making a unique password—this will make it easier to remember your password and harder for it to be guessed. There are online lists of the most common passwords used. Be sure your password is “uncommon” and complex enough to stay secure.
Pro tip: Don’t recycle your passwords!
Be sure to create DIFFERENT passwords for each of your accounts in case one account gets hacked and your information is exposed.