The first step in protecting your online privacy is creating a safe password - i.e. one that a computer program or persistent individual won't easily be able to guess in a short period of time. To help you choose a secure password, Google has created a feature that lets you know visually how safe your password is as soon as you create it.
Tips for creating a secure password:
- Include punctuation marks and/or numbers.
- Mix capital and lowercase letters.
- Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'.
- Create a unique acronym.
- Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv 2 Laf' for 'Love to Laugh'.
Things to avoid:
- Don't reuse passwords for multiple important accounts, such as Gmail and online banking.
- Don't use a password that is listed as an example of how to pick a good password.
- Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.)
- Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.
- Don't use keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
- Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters.
- Don't use repeating characters (aa11).
Tips for keeping your password secure:
- Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, parrots, etc.).
- Never write your password down.
- Never send your password by email.
- Periodically test your current password and change it to a new one.