What makes for a strong password?

In addition to being unique, security experts agree that a strong password is at least 12 characters long, containing a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Maintaining strong and unique passwords will decrease the risk of password guessing based on commonly used passwords, information about you that might be publicly available, or password cracking tools that hackers use.

How do you manage better and unique passwords?

It is really hard to remember a lot of strong and unique passwords. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools out there to help. Using a password manager only requires you to remember one master password to access your other passwords. If needed, you can write passwords down on a piece of paper and store them in a secure location away from your computer, but be careful not to store passwords right on your computer.

Here is some password advice from popular online services you may use.

  • Facebook

    Facebook just debuted a beta verion of Delegated Account Recovery, which lets people use their Facebook account to recover access to external services if they’ve forgotten their passwords. In general, Facebook suggests that when you create a new password, to make sure that it's at least 6 characters long, and to use a complex combination of numbers, letters and punctuation marks. If you see a message letting you know the password you entered isn't strong enough, try mixing together uppercase and lowercase letters. You can also make the password more complex by making it longer with a phrase or series of words that you can easily remember, but no one else knows. Keep in mind that your Facebook password should also be different than the passwords you use to log into other accounts, like your email or bank account. Facebook Password Link

  • Google

    Google Chrome’s built-in password manager remembers your passwords for different websites to make it easier for you to use strong, unique passwords for each site. You can learn more about managing your saved passwords here. You can also consider installing Password Alert, a Chrome extension that helps you avoid phishing attacks by warning you when you enter your Google password on a non-Google site. To change or reset your Google passwords, visit security.google.com.

  • iCloud

    iCloud Keychain keeps your Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information up to date across all of your approved devices that are using iOS 7.0.3 or later or OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later. iCloud Keychain can also keep the accounts you use in Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages up to date across all of your Mac computers. And when you sign in to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your other Internet accounts, iCloud automatically adds your usernames and passwords to all of your devices. Learn about iCloud Keychain availability by country or region.

  • LinkedIn

    Resetting your password is easy. We'll email or text you a link to reset it via the email address or phone number you provided. LinkedIn Password Link

  • Outlook

    Once you've setup your account in Mail for Windows 10, you don't have to enter your password every time you open the app. If the password for your email account expires or you change it for security purposes, you may need to update your password in the Mail app. Outlook Password Link

  • Twitter

    Create a strong and unique password for your Twitter account. You should also create an equally strong and unique password for the email address associated with your Twitter account. Additionally, you can select Require personal information to reset my password in your Account settings. If you check this box, you will be prompted to enter your email address or phone number to reset your password if you ever forget it. Twitter Password Link

    - Twitter will never ask you to provide your password via email, Direct Message, or reply.
    - Twitter will never ask you to download something or sign-in to a non-Twitter website. Never open an attachment or install any software from an email that claims to be from us; it's not.
    - If we suspect your account has been phished or hacked, we may reset your password to prevent the hacker from misusing your account. In this case, we'll email you a twitter.com password reset link.
    - If you forget your password, you can reset it via this link.

  • Yahoo

    Your Yahoo password gives you access to every Yahoo service you use. It's always a good idea to use strong passwords and to make sure they are unique from other passwords you use. If you've forgotten your password, you can reset it for a fresh start. If the password you choose is one of the top most common or simple passwords, it'll be considered vulnerable to hackers. Yahoo Password Link.