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How To Video
Create and manage secure passwordsSharon Vaknin reveals some tips for making secure passwords and shows you the best ways to keep track of them all.
Think, social network, e-mail, even your storage cloud. Every month, we log in to dozens of websites using a password but no way do want people guessing what your password is and logging in to your account. Hopefully, I don't have to tell you that using passwords like 123456, qwerty or your first name are not okay. I'm Sharon Vaknin for CNET and today I'll show you how to create secure passwords and how to keep track of them all. To start a good password, it's made of upper case and lower case letters or variety of punctuation marks and numbers. Ideally, our passwords would look something like this but that's not exactly realistic. So, try this method. Make up a phrase like the Giants should win the world series in 2013 then just take the initials, numbers and punctuation from the phrase to create a password that looks like this. If you wanna see just how secure your password is, go to a website like howsecureismypassword.net. The website will rate your password based on how long it would take to crack. So, if you enter something weak like 123456, the meter would tell you why your password is so crappy and how you can fix it. I don't recommend putting passwords that you actually plan to use in these websites though. They might now be secure and are only meant for educational purposed. Now that you know how to create super secure passwords, make sure you're using a different one for almost every service you use. Why, because if someone cracks one password and you use it for everything else, your online life will we compromised. The thing is, it's going to get really hard to remember all those crazy passwords you made. So, you have a few options. One, memorize all your passwords. Okay, don't do that. Two, write them down on a piece of paper and put them somewhere safe. This is the old school method but it works. The obvious got to hear though is that if someone finds that piece of paper, you're in trouble. The third and best option is to use a password manager like LastPass. You can grab the program for just about any operating system and browser around the CNET download page. LastPass stores and encrypt all of your passwords for you and autofills your account log ins and whenever you create a new online account, LastPass can generate a secure password for you. The only scary part of that LastPass is that it's all kept secure with one master password. So, make sure that one's extra hard to crack. Trading off greater of raw security and convenience for that flaw will be completely up to you and just like any online service, LastPass could be susceptible to security issues of it's own. Now that you know how to make and manage secure passwords, go give your security a little make over and if you have any questions, tweet me and subscribe to my Facebook page for more tips like this. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin.