NEWBIE mistake:
using short, simple passwords to access your online accounts. This puts you at significantly higher risk of security breach by hackers. To increase your protection, Agents suggest using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Granted, when you create a password, you have to be able to remember it. But your larger concern should be keeping your information secure and private. Some sites have their own guidelines for how many and what characters can and cannot be used. Still ACS suggests these guidelines to help you create a password that's less likely to be cracked.

Switch It Up With Your Characters

  • Use at least one upper case letter
  • Use at least one lower case letter
  • Use a number
  • Use a symbol character from this special set: ' ! @ $ % ^ & * ( ) - _ = + [ ] ; : ' " , / ?< . >
  • Use at least six characters
  • Don't use repeating characters
  • Don't use spaces

Don't Make It Guess Worthy

  • Do not use a common, dictionary word—not even spelled backwards
  • Don't use your name,
  • a relative's,a close friend's, or pet's name, either
  • Don't use personal numbers, such as your driver's license, license plate, social security, telephone, or birth date
  • It’s a good idea to change your passwords monthly.
  • And if you must write them down, put them in a safe place and don’t include the URL.


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