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How To Create Secure Passwords

The best practices for creating secure passwords are:

  • A password should be 16 characters or more; our password-related research has found that 45 percent of Americans use passwords of eight characters or less, which are not as secure as longer passwords.
  • A password should include a combination of letters, numbers, and characters.
  • A password shouldn’t be shared with any other account.
  • A password shouldn’t include any of the user’s personal information like their address or phone number. It’s also best not to include any information that can be accessed on social media like kids’ or pets’ names.
  • A password shouldn’t contain any consecutive letters or numbers.
  • A password shouldn’t be the word “password” or the same letter or number repeated.

Why Is Password Security Important?

Not having secure passwords has its consequences, which include but are not limited to:

  • After gaining access to a user’s credentials, many hackers will log into their accounts to steal more of their personally identifiable information (PII) like their names, addresses, and bank account information. They will use this information either to steal money from the user directly or to steal their identity. Identity theft can result in further financial losses or difficulty getting loans or employment.
  • Lack of privacy
  • For businesses, hackers can start disinformation campaigns against companies, sharing their data with competitors and storing it for a ransom.