Password Strength and Importance

Created by Joe Nemastil on 2012-03-27

Strong passwords are an essential part of using technology. An amazing amount of sensitive information is now located on computers and other electronic devices, and it makes sense to protect this data. Using passwords that cannot be cracked will greatly reduce your risk of data theft.

What's a "strong" password? Many people think it is okay to choose a word and add a number or two to the mix and call it a day. While this may keep your brother out of your stuff, it is not enough to keep hackers away. Hackers have programs designed to try significant words with every number combination. Any word or number that is significant to you (think birthday, anniversary, pet name, school, etc.) should be avoided. Many experts suggest that any word found in the dictionary should be avoided as well.

The best passwords include at least 8 characters, more than one special character (@#$%^), a combination of capitalization and small letters, and no common words or chains (such as 123, qwerty).

It's best to use different passwords for each of your logins. If you use the same password for everything, then all of your private data is compromised when only one password gets stolen or cracked.

Dashlane, an enterprise-class password protection company has a password strength checker. Try using it to see how strong your passwords are.

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