The first point to remember is that a password is only safe if you don’t tell anyone and don’t give it away online.
The second point is that you need more than one password. We all have lots of things we login to that need a password. You should not use the same password for each.
Follow these guidelines
- Use safe passwords (this means a password that would be extremely difficult for anyone to guess or for a computer to crack quickly). This needs to be at least 8 characters long. Each character you add makes it more difficult for someone to work out.
- Don’t use actual words unless you add three or more together in a nonsensical way . Avoid birthdays, anniversaries, pet names, TV characters etc.
- As well as normal letters, you can use upper case letters, numbers and even punctuation marks and symbols in your password.
- Don’t use sequences of consecutive numbers or letters e.g. 34567 or QWERTY.
- Use a different password for each site. Once they’ve got your password, scammers will try it on any number of other sites. If the scammers get one of your passwords then that’s all rather than giving them open access to all of your accounts using that same password.
- Make your passwords easy to remember — but only for you.
How can you do that?
One approach is to change some of the password letters into symbols or numbers.
Another approach is to use a sentence and then take just the first or last letter of each word and you should end up with a long unintelligible string of letters but you can remember it through the original sentence.
E.g. I take my dog Ferdinand to the park every day for a walk becomes itmdFttpedfaw
- Try not to write your passwords down or store them on your computer. If you do need to write something down then give yourself a clue rather than the actual password.