Thanks to powerful brute-force-attack software readily available online, hackers can try tens of millions of possible password combinations per second. For example, hacking software can guess a five-character password in under three hours. If you only use lowercase letters, it’s 11.9 seconds.

You KNOW you need to have a better password than “password” or “letmein” if you have any hope of keeping hackers away; but what constitutes as a “strong” password? Experts also say that you should be changing your passwords once a month to ensure proper Cybersecurity— and if you're guilty of using the same password for everything you log into (like millions of Americans), you're at risk for getting hacked!

A good, strong password should be at least eight characters long. The longer the better, but eight is the bare minimum. You should include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols (special characters such as !@#$%) that are hard to guess. If you aren't good at coming up with new passwords and like to stick to easily-remembered combinations, we recommend using an online service called Secure Password Generator. You can instantly generate a brand-new password with the criteria you enter, for free. We know it can be difficult having to create multiple new passwords. There are dozens of free tools at your finger-tips to ensure you’re giving it your best shot—so no excuses!

Don’t use dictionary words with proper capitalization— they’re easy to guess (like Password123#). Even though it meets the requirements we just discussed, it’s easily hacked; remember, hackers have sophisticated password-hacking software that will run 24/7/365.

We know: It’s not easy remembering all of these new and complex passwords. We also recommend using KeePass— a totally free software that you can download to manage your various passwords. With this organization tool, not only can you keep track of all of the many passwords that you use on a regular basis, but you can keep them protected with one master password!

Quick tip: For remembering your password, use a phrase and insert letters and numbers into it, like $h@KeNb8ke. Mix it up and make an ordinary phrase look unrecognizable— and more importantly, UNGUESSABLE!

Bonus tip: Be on the look out for our monthly password checkpoints on LinkedIn!

Secure Password Generator: