Creating Strong Passwords

Privacy is important when it comes to using the internet on any device that stores confidential information. Passwords are the first line of defense in protecting your data. It's highly recommended to place a password or pin on any device you use in your daily activities that has the capability. Even if the item is stolen or misplaced, you have a high chance of limiting a person's ability to use the device if it is password protected. You also want to use passwords for any applications or websites you use with your personal data and likeness like bank apps, social media accounts, email account, etc. 

The basic password rule of thumb any IT professional will give you is to make your passwords at least 8 characters long with a combination of letters, numbers, spaces and characters. Depending on the device or application you're using, there may be special additional requirements.

Good password ideas

1.) Make, model, year, and color of vehicles you have owned in the past.
- This information can't be researched by a stranger because it is a vehicle you no longer own & is pretty broad (there are hundreds of vehicle makes). You can create mutliple password combinations with those 4 distinctions in mind (i.e VWagonwhite$1994)

2.) The birthday of a close friend or relative that doesn't live in your household. 
- This information isn't personal to you, as it can't be linked to your address, drivers license or social media. It should be a birthdate you are extremely familiar with (without writing it down) so that you don't ever forget it.
- Get creative, use acronyms & numbers in any combination to make it difficult to guess. (i.e Taurus5*5*1989)

3.) Think of hobbies, fandoms and interests that you know you keep at top of mind.
- Favorite movie characters
- Favorite vacation spots
- Favorite sports teams
***Keep in mind you don't want to make it easy for someone to guess it. It still needs to have a medium-high level of complexity. For instance, "007>Nichols" would be bordeline too easy because "007" is an extremely popular movie across multiple generations and Nichols is my actual last name. Something like "19Hell0Kitty%92" is better because it's a character I will remember and a year that resonates with me. You don't want to get hungup on the grammatical spelling of real words or names since those can easily be guessed by a hacker/intruder. Use a number in replacement of a letter, and use the wide array of characters at your disposal. 

Weak password ideas

1.) Your name, birthday, children's birthday, your spouse's birthday, wedding anniversary, social security number, current or recent home addresses.
- A complete stranger can Google your name and find all of this information. It's best to stay away from dates that correlate directly to your personal information. 

2.) Common syntaxes that are common in society such as the alphabet "abcdefg", Numerical orders "12345678", or avoiding creating a password at all by simply using "Password". These have no level of complexity and can be guessed without any effort. 

3.) Having the same password for every single account and device you own. This is dangerous because that means if someone can hack into your Netflix account, they can now use your same information and log into your bank account, email, etc. Avoid the headache, create a different password for every account and device.