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How to Use Secure Passwords Without Losing Your Mind

Passwords are like underwear: you need them to protect your privacy, but you don’t want anyone to see them. Unfortunately, passwords are also like underwear: they get dirty, they wear out, and they need to be changed often.

Here are some tips on how to use secure passwords without losing your mind:

Don’t use your name, your pet’s name, your birthday, or anything else that can be easily guessed or found online. Unless you want hackers to know everything about you, including your favourite colour and your mother’s maiden name.

  • Don’t use common words or phrases that can be found in a dictionary or a book. Unless you want hackers to crack your password faster than you can say “password123”.
  • Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. Unless you want hackers to have access to your email, your bank account, your social media, and your online dating profile. (Trust me, you don’t.)
  • Don’t write down your password or store it in plain text on your computer or phone. Unless you want hackers to find it as easily as you do. (Or worse, your nosy roommate or coworker.)
  • Do use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Unless you want hackers to think you’re boring and predictable.
  • Do make your password at least 8 characters long, and preferably longer. Unless you want hackers to break into your account in less than a minute.
  • Do change your password regularly, especially if you suspect that it has been leaked or exposed. Unless you want hackers to keep using your account without your knowledge.
  • Do use a password manager to store and generate your passwords securely. Unless you want to memorize dozens of random and complex passwords that make no sense. (Or forget them and lock yourself out of your own account.)
  • Do not share your password with anyone, and do not fall for phishing and spoofing attacks that try to trick you into giving away your password. Unless you want hackers to pretend to be you and ruin your reputation.

Using secure passwords is not easy, but it is necessary. If you follow these tips, you can protect your online accounts and your sanity. Remember: passwords are like underwear: keep them clean, keep them fresh, and keep them to yourself.


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