For Seniors: Create Strong Internet Passwords
You should protect online accounts with strong passwords that are hard to guess. After creating strong passwords to protect your online information, make sure that you never give your passwords to others, and that you change passwords on particularly sensitive accounts, such as banks and investment accounts, regularly.
So what makes a strong password? What tricks should you use to create one?
Consider the length: To create a password that's hard to guess, use at least ten characters.
Confuse 'em: When you mix it up with upper- and lowercase letters, characters, and numbers, you make your password harder to guess.
Make it obscure: When creating a strong password, use nothing that's associated with you, your family, your company, and so on. That way, no one who has gathered some of your public information from online can use it to guess your passwords.
Protect: After creating strong passwords, don't place them on paper reminders near your laptop so that anyone who steals your laptop can steal your information as well.
Change: The more sensitive the information, the more frequently you should change the password used to access it.
Here are some examples of password patterns that are safe but also easy to remember. Use these examples for inspiration; don’t use any of them as your real password.
|Use a familiar phrase typed with a variation of capitalization and numbers instead of words (text message shorthand).||L8r_L8rNot2day = Later, later, not today
2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? = To be or not to be, that is the question.
|Incorporate shortcut codes or acronyms.||CSThnknAU2day = Can’t Stop Thinking About You today
2Hot2Hndle = Too hot to handle
|Create a password from an easy-to-remember phrase that describes what you’re doing, with key letters replaced by numbers or symbols.||1mlook1ngatyahoo = I’m looking at Yahoo
MyWork@HomeNeverEnds = My work at home never ends
|Spell a word backwards with at least one letter representing a character or number.||$lidoffaD = Daffodils (The $ replaces the s.)
y1frettuB = Butterfly (The 1 replaces the l.)
QWERTY7654321 = This is the six letters from left to right in the top row of your keyboard, plus the numbers from right to left across the top going backwards.
|Use patterns from your keyboard. Make your keyboard a palette and make any shape you want.||Typing 1QAZSDRFBHU8 is really just making a W on your keyboard.|
It’s a good idea to password-protect your laptop. That way, if it’s left running in a public place, or lost or stolen, nobody else can log on to access the information on it.