“Be sure you create a strong password!” this is the advice we see everywhere on the internet, but what does a strong password means? I’ll say a strong password has the following characteristics:
- has at least 12 characters length. If the technology does not support it, you should stop using that system. A longer password would be better;
- includes a mix of alphabetic and non-alphabetic characters (numbers, punctuation or special characters) or a mix of at least two types of non-alphabetic characters;
- is not a dictionary word or combination of dictionary words;
- not contains user id or name as part of the password;
- don’t rely on obvious substitutions (aka. use thr33 instead of three, or h3ll0 instead of hello);
- do not reuse another password.
And remember, it is not all about using a strong password. You also has to practice a prudent online behavior to keep you password safe. For example:
- do not use the same password on multiple sites;
- keep your computer free of viruses and malware, specially from those malwares that fall in password capturing category;
- avoid phishing sites.