Good Morning! Today is change your password day! OK, I made that up, but it’s a good idea to change your password on a regular basis.

You must create strong passwords and change your passwords on a regular basis. It’s your best defense against hackers.

And … even if you do create strong passwords, there are people out there who have nothing better to do than to try to figure out how to hack your website(s) … It happened to me.

Anyway, onward and upward! I’m back online thanks to some secret help. You know who you are, and thank YOU!

My domains were hacked in addition to (apparently) hundreds of other customers so as an added protection, I’ve also happily moved all of my domains to a new web hosting company, Media Temple (join me via my affiliate link)

And do you know what?

Many people don’t know how to do this … how to create a strong password. Is that you? It’s OK. So today I’m giving you some tips right here so you can quietly go away and do this right now and nobody will know you didn’t know 😉

Here we go. TIPS. How to create a strong password :

  1. Use a minimum of 10 characters, yes, that’s TEN. And yes, that’s a “minimum” of ten characters.
  2. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
  3. Avoid repeating characters. For example, “222” or “Bbb.” Mix it up.
  4. Don’t use your birthdate, name, initials, dog’s name, nickname, child’s name or anything easily identifiable as you.
  5. Don’t use recognizable words and phrases. For example “mydogToby” or “sunny1234”
  6. If you can remember your password, it’s likely not strong enough. Yes, make it hard to remember.
  7. Use different passwords for different websites, social networks, email accounts and banking. Meaning, do not use the same password across all accounts. Think of it like having a different key to your house, office, car … one key doesn’t open all the different doors.
  8. Never use the same password for banking that you use for email or social networks.
  9. In addition, password protect your actual digital device … computers, iPhone, iPad etc. Yes, it may be a nuisance, but think of it like locking the door before you leave the house to go out. Make it harder for them to get into your “house” without a key. Make yourself have to login to each device with a password every time. (I admit, I don’t even like doing this but I do now)
  10. If you are using WordPress, change your password from within the dashboard while logged in. Try to avoid using the “forgot my password” option that emails you a new password reset via the web if you can, unless you really have no other way to get in.
  11. Log out of social networks, GMail, banking, WordPress dashboard etc., when you’re finished what you are doing. This is especially difficult (and inconvenient) to remember for those of us who work online and are often managing multiple accounts simultaneously.
  12. Don’t give anybody your password(s) except for paid trusted professionals that you KNOW, who need access to assist you with your websites, online marketing, etc., and even then, what I advise clients to do is to change the password again, after their work/tasks are completed each month, if you’re in a monthly contract agreement.
  13. This list is a working document and will change again, as the web changes constantly. This is a pretty comprehensive list, but it seems there’s always more. *This is not a legal document. These are my TIPS for today. Always do your own research and keep up to date with any changes and recommendations by your service provider and social  networks, for ways to protect your assets, your business, your privacy and security online.
  14. If in doubt, or if you want to learn more about password security, every social network, Google and Bing all have documents that lay out their recommended guidelines for password protection, security and privacy. Read them and keep things up to date.

Hope this has been helpful!

—Brenda Johima



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