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With all the hype (and reality) surrounding identity theft, it's important to create strong but memorable passwords. Including numbers with letters and special characters (&,%,#, etc) helps to strengthen passwords, along with length (this time, longer really IS better!).
You can easily test your various passwords' strength by using this Microsoft password checker:
It's worth bookmarking in your browser!
In playing around with the checker, it's interesting to note that an all numeric password, regardless of length, is weak, which makes sense since password cracker software can go thru numeric iterations rather rapidly. Using lower and UPPER case characters helps too (though the site you're passwording must have the ability to distinguish between upper and lower case letters - if not, it adds no security to your mixed case password)
Remember to use different passwords for ALL your login accounts, especially any financial sites such as online banking and brokerages. Using the same passwords (or even user names) at every site invites trouble!
Want to share good password hints? Post them below!
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