PLEASE make sure that the passwords you use are strong and individual.
Recent research shows that a PassPHRASE of four (or more) unrelated words connected together is better than a single word password, even if you change letters to numbers or symbols.
Let's take the word: "Blackjack". Most people will change a few things around, so that perhaps it becomes: "B1@ckj@ck". The problem is that new hacking tool software can hack "B1@ckj@ck" in about 14 hours. BUT.... if you put together a sentence that uses numbers and symbols (such as: "mygrandsonryanis25yearsold!") that same hacking software would take HUNDREDS (yes, hundreds of years) to crack using today's technology.
The other thing to keep in mind about passwords (passphrases) is to use different ones for different purposes. Select one to use for banking, another for shopping, another for email, etc. Using the above example you could create variations that you could remember such as:
The key things to remember:
1. DON'T tell anyone your passwords. The computer/hacking program won't be able to guess your passphrase because it doesn't know your grandson/granddaughter/son/etc. But, as soon as you tell someone, then the possibility of being hacked increases.
2. Keep the phrases to something that you can remember.
3. If you do write them down, DON'T leave them written on notes stuck to monitors, placed in drawers, written on the back of a wall calendar (this one I've seen personally when I went to my dad's office years ago and saw him turn his calendar around when he was logging into his network (!) ).
4. NEVER use a public computer (like the one's you see in lobbies of hotels) to enter any passwords under any circumstances. True story.... I recently went to Tucson, Arizona to attend a wedding and a friend's 60th b'day party, while there I saw my hotel had two computers in the lobby. Just for grins, I looked in the back of one of the computers and saw a dongle (a USB device) plugged into the USB port and it wasn't for the keyboard nor mouse. I alerted the manager and he called their IT dept. It turns out that someone plugged in a "keylogger". This is a device that captures everything that it typed into the computer. I assume the crook slipped it in when no one was looking and was going to unplug it when no one was looking. For letting them know about this, they gave me three of my four night's stay for free and in a follow up email (which was nice of them) they told me that they have locked the computer tower up and installed cameras in the area.
HERE is a secure, legitimate site (that does NOT store your password) that you can use to test your password to see how secure it is:
Thanks all. Safe computing!