Creating a Better Password:
Mix it up – use number and letters in both upper and lower case
Spell words that you are familiar with such as p455w0rD (see how it kind of spells “password”)
Never use the word “password” as your password.
Creating that Secret Question:
Many services ask you to create a secret question incase you forget your password. This allows them to ask you for the answer to verify that you are who you say you are.
Choose a secret question that is true now and will be true five years from now – not, “what is your favorite movie?” or “what is your pet’s name?”
Choose a question that is very specific – not “Where did you meet your spouse?”
It is also best to choose a question that can be figured out by a relative if something were to ever happen to you. I like questions like, “What was the brand of cousin Edna’s first car? This will allow family members to track down cousin Edna.
Answers to secret questions should be written in lower case. If you make this a rule then you will never forget. Otherwise, make a note to yourself in the question such as, “City where you were born (all caps)”
No one can store all those passwords in their head, you simply have to write them down.
Get an addressbook and write all passwords alphabetically. Amazon.com will go under A, eBay under E, etc.
Never keep your address book with passwords in a desk drawer. Bad guys who steal computers often dig through desks looking for password lists.
Never use the same password for financial sites as you do for non-financial sites. Even better, never use the same password twice.
For more information on passwords and how to track them securely, read our Password Mania tip.