Written by Brooke Wagner Has a website ever delayed you from opening an account because your password choice isn’t strong enough? It always irritates me, even though I know it’s for my own good. There’s no better bargain than saving your hard earned money and credit from thieves.

It got me wondering; what exactly makes a strong password? Last week I read an article that gave me an answer.

USAA Magazine printed an interview with Gordon Snow, the former assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division. In his experience, the most important thing we can all do to strengthen our passwords is to use a PHRASE, instead of a word. He gave the example, “MyLazyDogRex,” noting it would take a hacking program more than 300 years average to crack that password.

You want a password that’s eight or nine characters long. The length, not the complexity, is the key. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I find “MyLazyDogRex” much easier to remember than some bizarre mix of letters and numbers squished into a word.

If you can remember them, try to use special characters or numbers, or alternate the case. All experts recommend using as many different passwords between different sites as possible and to change them ever few months.

The Web offers dozens of options for password strength indicators. Below is one link, which also includes more information from the article I cited. Stay safe out there!

LINK: usaa.com/inet … take_steps_protect_logon

About The Blogger

– In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now. Tweet Brooke your ideas at @BrookeCBS4.


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