The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

August 12, 2013

10 worst password ideas and tips for picking a better one

Are your online passwords easily hackable? Measure yours up against this list of the 10 worst password ideas as outlined by Google Apps.

1. Pet names

2. A notable date, like a wedding anniversary

3. A family member's birthday

4. Your child's name

5. Another family member's name

6. Your birthplace

7. A favorite holiday

8. Something related to your favorite sports team

9. The name of a significant other

10. The word "password"

How do you pick a secure password?

Many sites now require certain elements be included in your password, like a specific number of letters or special characters, such as "#" or "?". But how do you know that you have a secure password?

The key factor in determining the strength of your password is the length, writes Techlicious blogger Suzanne Kantra.

"Numbers, capitalization and special characters are all bonuses, but a short password that uses all of these tricks will still be much easier to crack than a long password with real words," wrote Kantra.

She suggests checking your password's strength on PassFault.com, a site created by a respected computer security expert.

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