Why do we need strong passwords?
Attacks on websites are increasing. Attackers go after any website, not just corporate websites. An attacker's goal may not be to harvest personal data (although he'll do that if he can), but to plant software on the site that enables the attacker to go after other sites. Today all sites get attacked. A common way to attack a site is by trying to guess user passwords to gain entry. Many users pick weak passwords making it easy.
What is a strong password?
A password that is hard to guess and has enough characters that it would take a lot of work to match by trying random passwords. It should also be one you don't use for other websites or accounts. When you select or change your password, this website will show the password strength as you enter it. Please use a password that rates as strong or at least medium.
Aren't strong passwords a pain?
They can be. A password such as 3cuqNNYftKf3Hu is very strong but impossible to remember and a pain to type. This sort of password is often recommended but not practical unless you use a password management program.
I want a strong password I can remember and type easily!
There is simple way: a passphrase rather than a password. Pick four or more unrelated words or a phrase that is unique to you but hard to guess. For example Bill likes blue hats or The trail to Goat Mountain or just some words, kite truck weather box. (But don't use those examples!) Don't use a common phrase, song lyrics or a quotation.
If you can't remember your passphrase, write it down (not on a sticky note on your computer screen), and put it away somewhere. You can use spaces between the words or not. Make the passphrase stronger by adding numbers and symbols. For example, [kite truck weather box]! is stronger but still easy to type. When you enter your passphrase remember that spaces and capital letters mush match exactly with the phrase you chose.