One of the most effective ways to protect yourself is through the use of strong passwords.  Below are some tips on how to create good passwords.

1. Avoid the Dictionary – If you password can be found in the dictionary, it’s not very strong.  Some words, for instance “password”, are more common than others.  However, as a rule of thumb, your password should not be an actual word.  Try mixing up letters or think of some seemingly random grouping of letters that would be easy for you to remember.

2. Include Numbers – It’s always a good idea to include numbers in your password. Having numbers in a password makes it significantly harder to crack.  Try to avoid using numbers that are easily seen as significant to yourself (ex. birthdays).

3. The Longer, the Better – I realize that it’s difficult to remember long strings of random numbers and letters, but the longer the better.  As humans, we can remember with some ease up to 8 characters, so shoot for eight random letters and numbers.  The more you type it, the easier it will be to remember.

4. Diversify your Passwords – Depending on the level of security required, your passwords should be different. Your social media passwords should not be the same as your bank.  Try to have higher level passwords that are only used on one or two sites that require the most security.  You can then use lesser level passwords for websites or accounts that are not as valuable to be kept secure.