Passwords are a major defense and developing good password practices will help keep your sensitive personal information and identity more secure. Below are some suggestions for developing better passwords:
- Passwords should have at least eight characters and include upper case (capital letters) and lowercase letters, numerals and symbols.
- Avoid common words: some hackers use programs that try every word in the dictionary.
- Don't use personal information-name, children's name, birthdates, etc. that someone might already know or easily obtain.
- Change passwords regularly -- at least every 90 days. If you believe you system has been compromised change passwords immediately.
- Use different passwords for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords).
- If you must write down passwords, under no circumstances should you store them in a document on your computer. Keep them in a secure location away from your computer.
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