In this day and age, we all know that it’s not safe to use only one password for all our accounts, because if someone diabolical gets ahold of it – we’re hosed. Really hosed. So we’re prompted to create and remember a unique password for what seems like a million different websites – one to log onto our PC; one to access our Email; one to access our bank account; one to access each social media account, etc. etc. The list is endless. But how safe are your passwords, really? And is there a better way to keep them organized?

Consider using a pass-phrase rather than a password, and include a number and a symbol to make it extra secure. For example, “mydoghasfleas11*” would take 27 years to decipher, whereas just “mydoghasfleas” would take only 8 days. Or “mycateatsbugs66!” would take a cool 65 centuries, whereas “mycateatsbugs” would take only 4 months. Nothing against your dog’s grooming habits or your cat’s distasteful diet, but these are examples of strong pass-phrases.

You’ll want strong passwords for sites such as your bank account and PayPal account, where it would be a sizeable pain in the keister to fix things if your password was compromised. For those sites that don’t require security quite as high, the passwords don’t need to be as grandiose. If someone broke into your account where you print your grocery coupons, who’s gonna care? The coupon police?

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Are you leaving your front door wide open and inviting every hacker in town in for drinks and dinner, or are you as secure as Fort Knox? The most common password is 1q2w3e4r5t (the first 5 numbers and 5 letters on the keyboard), which would take your garden-variety hacker a mere 0.34 seconds to crack. Not so good.

Here’s another tip: LIE. Wait – what? That’s right – LIE. Lie on those security questions. What elementary school did you attend? FRED! What’s your first-born daughter’s name? FRED! What year did you graduate high school? FRED! Do you think any Brainiac will be able to guess those answers? I think not. Just make sure you write your answers down and store them somewhere safe if your memory’s not so good anymore (and whose is?).

Speaking of writing things down… are you tired of keeping a piece of paper updated and stored in a safe place to keep track of your continually growing list of a million passwords? There IS a better way. Click on the KEEPASS link below and check out how KeePass, an open source password manager, can safeguard all of your passwords. They’re accessible only to YOU via just ONE master key. And best of all – it’s FREE!

KEEPASS

Click on the Password Strength Test link below and see how your passwords rate.

PASSWORD STRENGTH TEST

PLEASE pass this on to family and friends.