Did you know that over one third of the population has either had information compromised, been
hacked or had a password stolen? The saying, “Only the strong survive” also applies to passwords. Weak
passwords can put your personal and business information, as well as your bank accounts and
investments at great risk. Hackers rely on weak passwords to wreak havoc and steal from individuals and
Some of the weakest passwords include 11111, abc123, 1234, 12345, 123456 and so on. “Password” is a
terribly weak password, as are football and baseball. “Qwerty,” the first few letters on your keyboard, is
an awful password choice too. And your birthday may be easy for you to remember, but it is also very
easy to hack.
If you have any of these passwords, you obviously need to quickly change them. Here are some other
rules to follow to strengthen your passwords and help keep you safe:
1. Remember that the longer the password, the better.
2. Use combinations of letters and numbers, as well as upper and lowercase letters.
3. Incorporate symbols, such as the dollar sign or an exclamation mark.
4. Try to avoid words in the dictionary
Microsoft offers a password checker so that you can test the strength of your password; and some
services, such as Gmail, give you an option of using two passwords. It can be a PITA, but it’s safer.
5. Oh, and don’t use well known words or acronyms that are NOT used in the dictionary, such as