Good passwords are EXTREMELY important. Especially when it comes to important sites (banking, healthcare, email, etc.). On those important ones… Your password should be at least (you might want to sit down for this one…) 15 characters long. Length is very important when it comes to good passwords.
Beyond that… Here are some tricks that will help you in making good passwords.
1) Use UPPER and lower case
2) Substitute numbers for letters (1 for i or l, 5 for s, 8 for B, etc.)
3) Substitute symbols for letters (! for i or l, $ for s, @ for a, etc.)
4) Misspell things in your passwords to make them unpredictable (luv for love; dem for them)
5) Pick 4 characters that you could begin using before each of your passwords. Example… ,.;’ are close together on the keyboard and easy to remember. So your password could be ,.;’LuvdemRaiders (please don’t use that for your password… come up with your own)
6) Never use things commonly known about you in your password (kids or pets names, birthdates, graduation year, etc.).
7) And finally… NEVER NEVER NEVER repeat passwords, especially on sites that matter.
How’s a person supposed to keep up with all those various usernames and passwords?
The answer is to use a PASSWORD MANAGER. Here are a couple of options.
LastPass: If you want a simple one that is safe and very intuitive, LastPass is a good one. It is cloud based, so it will be available on both your home and work computer, as well as your tablet and phone. It is free for computer use, or you can pay $12 per year for one also available on your iPhone.
Password Safe: This one is completely contained on your computer or your thumb drive (if you are concerned about cloud safety). It is free for the computer and Android versions, and only $2.99 for the Apple version)
Computer Version: http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/
Apple Version: http://app77.com/pwSafe/