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.

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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.

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.

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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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