Protect your privacy with these seven tips.

Jessica Brannen / October 1, 2014

In 2013, the Keylogger virus captured over two million passwords.

In April of this year, the security bug Heartbleed threatened to reveal the passwords of 17% of supposedly secure web servers.

And a few weeks ago, Google strongly encouraged its users to change passwords after a rumor spread that 5 million Google accounts were hijacked.

Thus, with so many bugs and viruses scurrying around cyberspace, having a powerful password is your strongest repellant.

To create a powerful password, keep these seven tips in mind.

Misspell them.
When you use a word as a password, never spell it correctly. Spell “mousepad” as “mawzpyd,” or “stapler” as “stpahlr.”

Make them irrelevant.
Keep usernames and passwords separate. For instance, if your username is “puppydog123,” don’t make your password, “doggylover.” When your password matches your username, you’re a sitting duck.

Make them long.
In general, the longer your password, the stronger your password.

Combine letters, numbers, and symbols.
Luckily, most sites require a healthy combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. If, however, a site doesn’t, do it anyway.
And, remember, you don’t have to stick numbers and symbols at the end of a word. In fact, don’t. Replace letters with numb3rs or $ymß0L$.

No two passwords should be the same.
Using one password for eight accounts is a terrible idea. If your password is discovered, all accounts suffer. Do your future self a favor and keep different passwords for all accounts.

Make them temporary.
Change your passwords every month or two. Either create new passwords or rotate your passwords around. But don’t let them just sit there.

Make them your own.
Never copy someone else’s password. Never. If they told you their password, they’ve most likely told someone else.

Spend a few minutes longer on your passwords. You’ll be glad you did.


An advertising graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Jessica Brannen brings a strategic and creative eye to managing social media and online presence for Kelsey's clients.

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