HOW TO CREATE STRONG USERNAMES & PASSWORDS TO PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY

There are several ways hackers can attempt access to your account

By Ashley Chorpenning

AAA World Article
Creating strong usernames and passwords can help you protect your accounts and information online. Here are some tips and tricks for protecting your valuable information on the web. 


MAKE LONG PASSWORDS
There are several ways hackers can attempt access to your account. One way is to use the “brute force attack” method which is where the computer runs through as many combinations of letter numbers and symbols as quickly as possible to discover your password. The longer and more complex your passwords are, the harder it is for hackers to crack. 

INCLUDE NUMBERS, SYMBOLS, UPPERCASE, AND LOWERCASE LETTERS
Mix your password with a variety of symbols, numbers, and letters. Consider capitalizing every other letter or the first letter of the phrase. This may help you remember your password while throwing hackers off. 

AVOID USING ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION
Any easily discoverable information shouldn’t be used in your usernames or passwords. For example, you may want to stay away from birthdays, addresses, pet names, and so on. Using obvious information makes it easier to guess your passwords. Also, if you must use a security question, use something that people wouldn’t be able to discover on your social media accounts. 

TRY USING PASSWORD MANAGERS
Password managers help you create strong passwords and store them on your behalf. Generally, these passwords are encrypted and can only be accessed by a master password. Many of these services are free to use and can help you audit your password habits to ensure you’re not using a duplicate password in across multiple locations. 

REGULARLY CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD
You may want to consider frequently changing your passwords that house sensitive information. Once you change the password make sure you don’t use the same one again for a while. 

WHEN CREATING USERNAMES STAY ANONYMOUS WHEN POSSIBLE
Unless it’s required by the website, try to avoid using your full name or personal information. Putting your information of display makes you more susceptible to identity theft. 

NEVER USE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AS A USERNAME
Social Security numbers may be hard to guess, but they could give identity thieves a very valuable piece of information. Avoiding the use of your Social Security number can better protect your valuable information. 

CREATE USERNAMES THAT ARE SIMPLE TO REMEMBER BUT ARE HARD TO GUESS 
Unlike your passwords, avoid using too many symbols or variations of letters. This can confuse you when you’re entering your information. 

The more thought you put into your usernames and passwords, the better they will be protected against identity theft. So, take the time to create passwords that will truly guard your personal information.