Here are a few tips to help you pick a perfect password:
- Avoid obvious, easy-to-guess passwords like "12345," "abcd," "qwerty," "password," "love," etc.
- Don't use overtly biographical information like the name of your college, street, pet, greatest accomplishment, birthday or sweetheart.
- Avoid a single, properly spelled word from the dictionary. Instead, use some random combination of letters, numbers and symbols. For example, a word like hot dogs could be spelled "H0td0g$37."
- Write your password down and hide it in a safe place in case you forget it. Don't stick it to your monitor or leave it out in the open.
- Don't tell your password to anyone.
- Change your password often, as in several times a year.
- Run an antivirus scan frequently to check for Trojan horses and other malicious programs.
- Last but not least, don't use just one password for all your accounts. Most people slack on this one, but it's a biggie. Each account should have a different password.
Katie is an Emmy-nominated tech host for A&E's We Mean Business . She can also be seen as a tech expert on CNN, The Style Network, AOL and others. She holds a degree in Information Technology New Media from RIT. You can find her on the Web at KatieLinendoll.com .