1. Use a new password for every account — and I don’t just mean changing the number at the end.
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. If you get hacked on one account, there’s a good chance you can get hacked on the others since the password is the same.
2. Don’t use words or phrases that are personal to you and easy to figure out.
People who know you well hopefully won’t hack your accounts, but you can never be too careful on the internet. Common mistakes include pet names, street names, boyfriend or girlfriend’s names, birthdays — things that are way too easy to find out with a quick Facebook check.
3. Don’t just use lowercase letters and numbers.
Many websites are starting to have stricter password rules, and they have a good point. Using a combination of capital and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers makes for a stronger code that no one will crack.
4. Use a password manager to keep your passwords safe and in order.
Use a database such as this one to manage your passwords without writing them down, leaving them open to anyone, or losing them.
5. Manipulate security questions.
Those security questions, such as “Mother’s maiden name?” or “First pet name?” Make the answers something only you would guess, not something that people could infer. Make the answer a color, a number, something completely out of the ordinary.
6. Never put your passwords in an e-mail.
E-mails are easily hacked, and the password will be the first thing they are able to use to steal your identity.