How to. . . create strong passwords

You can use a password generator to create You can use a password generator to create a password, but these are likely to be more difficult to remember. Photo Credit: Handout

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We are always being warned to use strong passwords online, but creating a password consisting of letters, numbers and symbols that is both secure and easily remembered can be a daunting task. Here are some tips.

1. Many experts agree that password length -- the longer the better -- is more important than complexity, and password security checkers seem to bear this out. The password "@5pe7uCR9f" tests as medium strength on Microsoft's password tester, while "Avoiding-weakpasswords" tests very strong. Which would you rather remember? We chose a random, easy-to-remember phrase with one capital letter, removed the spaces between words and added a hyphen. There weren't even any numbers. A long website address with punctuation can work well, too.

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2. Here are sites that will check how secure your password is: tinyurl.com/3qdmohy is Microsoft's password-checking site. It will rate the password from weak to best. Others include howsecure ismypassword.net and password meter.com, which both point out specific weaknesses in passwords.

3. Stumped? You can use a password generator to create a password, but these are likely to be more difficult to remember. Two that have some versatility are passwordsavvy.org and tinyurl.com/2xr9jt, or PCTools, which is owned by Symantec.

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