How to create strong passwords and protect yourself from hackers

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strong passwords
FILE: Person entering a password. (Credit: WINK News)

A computer with internet access is hacked every 39 seconds, according to the University of Maryland. One of the ways hackers most often break into accounts is through unsecure passwords.

There are ways you can create, remember and store passwords to keep all of your online accounts safe.

Believe it or not, people still use passwords like ‘password,’ and it turns out ‘123456’ is the most common online password followed by these. If you have one, you are easy to hack.

Recent research found that any password with six characters can be cracked easily, regardless of whether numbers and symbols are included.

Brian Oglesby with the Better Busines Bureau says complicated passwords with numbers, symbols, and upper and lower-case letters are best.

“Make sure they’re not something that relates to you like your dog or your birthday, or something very personal to you,” said Oglesby.

It is also a best practice to ensure your passwords are different on multiple websites.

Oglesby says at least ensure your Facebook password is different from your online banking ones.

“These are the ones that you want to make sure are fully secure, have long and strong passwords. You’re using a mixture of symbols and numbers and words that do not relate directly to you,” said Oglesby.

Instead, you can set up a password manager to create strong passwords and store your passwords in a secure place to help you keep your information and money safe.

Experts also recommend changing your password every couple of months and setting up multi-factor authentication to help further protect your accounts from people trying to get access to them.

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