The Importance of Strong Passwords

In theory, most of us acknowledge that it is important to have strong passwords to keep all our accounts safe. Of course in practice we often take shortcuts for the sake of convenience.  It might be helpful to prioritize your passwords by level of importance, then assign a password for each level. Obviously your password for reading the newspaper is not as important as the one for your bank account. After all, it’s not likely someone will try to hack your Times subscription. However, on accounts where you have entered a payment or credit card, it’s very important to have a very strong password. Most of us are unable to remember the more complex passwords. It’s ok to write them down in a safe place, not a sticky on your monitor.

Below are guidelines and a link to a tool to create a strong password. A strong password is:

  • has at least 14 characters;
  • has uppercase letters;
  • has lowercase letters;
  • has symbols, such as ` ! ” ? $ ? % ^ & * ( ) _ – + = { [ } ] : ; @ ‘ ~ # | < , > . ? /
  • has numbers;
  • is not your name;
  • is not your username;
  • is not like your prior password;
  • is not your friend’s name;
  • is not your relative’s name;
  • is not a dictionary word. although a phrase combined with some numbers and characters might be fine.

Some resources for keeping your data secure:

Generate a strong pass with