Update: Google Informations - Does your password pass the test?

One of the things I work on is password security. And because I'm someone who pays close attention to passwords and how people use them, I sometimes hear interesting stories. For example, a couple of my colleagues are so careful about the security of their passwords that they generate a random eight-character string, memorize it, and then use it as their password for two to three months. After that time elapses, they start the process over again and generate a new random password.

Do we all need to be that careful about our passwords? Probably not. But passwords are one of the web's most important security tools. Whether it's for your Google account, your banking center, or your favorite store, choosing a good password and keeping it safe can go a long way toward protecting your information online.

So how do you choose a good password, and then keep it safe? A few of these tips can help:
  • Avoid common elements when choosing your password. Specifically, you should avoid using words or phases from the dictionary, especially things that are easy to guess, like "password," "let me in," or the name of the site you're logging into. You should also avoid using keyboard patterns, such as "asdf1234" or "aqswdefr," or personal information, such as birthdays, addresses, or phone numbers.
  • Make your password as unique as possible. Once you've settled on a good base for your password, you should go a step further and add in numbers and non-alphanumerical characters, mix in upper-case letters, or use similar-looking substitutions for parts of the password, such as "$" for "s," "1" for "l," and "0" for "o."
Create different passwords for different sites. Doing so will help ensure that if one password is compromised, the others will remain secure. You may not...
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