Creating strong, unique passwords is one of the best defenses we have against cyber criminals.  However, it can be a challenge to come up with a new password every time we sign in to a new account.   At CRU Solutions, some of us have over 50 password-protected accounts.  Do you know how many passwords you use?

Here are some tips to help you create strong, unique passwords and keep them safe:

  1. Experts generally agree that a strong password contains at least 8 characters and includes a mix of numbers, special characters, and upper- and lower-case letters.
  2. Use a different password for every account.
  3. To keep your complex and unique passwords safe (and not forgotten), use password-protecting software.  PCMag.com recently compiled a comparison of the best password managers to give you a start.
  4. Don’t write your passwords on sticky notes and put them on (or even in) your desk.
  5. Avoid dictionary words.  If you use a single word as your password, it’s hackable in under 20 minutes – maybe under 10.
  6. Stay away from passwords that are easily identified with you such as the names of pets or family members.
  7. Use a password on all mobile devices, making them as strong as the device will allow.  Set your mobile devices to auto-lock to keep them even safer.
  8. Don’t share your passwords with anyone.