(8-8-14/Password Protected/CBS News)

The Bottom Line: Some tips to make sure your username and passwords will keep you safe.

The Basics:

  • A Russian crime ring recently stole 1.2 billion usernames and passwords.
  • For security, everyone is advised to change their information ASAP.
  • We have some tips on how to choose the most secure passwords.

The Full Story:

With the recent news of the Russian crime ring that stole 1.2 billion usernames and passwords, you’re probably thinking to yourself – how do I protect myself? Well, changing all your usernames and passwords is probably the first step, but how do you know if you’ve chosen one that will keep you secure?

 

Here are some tips:

 

The longer the better – Don’t pick a weak password.  Experts recommend no less than eight characters, with 14 to 25 even better (if allowed).

 

Mix it up – Use a combination of letters, numbers, upper and lower cases. Throw some symbols in there too if the site allows. Also, adding numbers in the middle of a word can make it more difficult for hackers to break your code.

 

Know what to avoid – Don’t use words in the dictionary because programs exist to crack passwords using known databases. Also, don’t use easy-to -guess words, like your name, relative’s names, pets, or even your company. Come on, you know we all do it…

 

Variety – No matter how hard it is to remember all your passwords, it’s very important not to use the same password for multiple accounts. Period.

 

And yeah, we know it’s hard to keep track of all your passwords and usernames.  If you’re like me and have a hard time remembering by the next day. If that’s the case try using a password manager, like LastPass, which will  help remember what is so easily forgotten.