Tips for Creating a Strong Gmail Password
Gmail is the portal into your life. This is where financial statements, correspondences with friends and family, and other vital emails are sent to you daily. When you open up a Gmail account, you are responsible for choosing a secure, strong Gmail password that is not easily broken. If you did something silly, such as use your name as your password, it is far too easy for another person to gain access to your account.
The following tips will allow you to create a very strong Gmail password that is not easily hacked.
1. Create a Unique Password
Not only does your password need to be lengthy, but you need to create a unique password. This means that the password you choose should not be used on any of your other accounts. If you use the same password for banking, email and forums, you are more susceptible to being hacked as a result.
2. Use a Mix of Numbers, Letters and Special Characters
Google uses case-sensitive passwords. This means that an uppercase letter must be input as an uppercase and a lowercase as a lowercase. For example, “PassWord” is not the same as “password” when logging into Gmail. The email service also allows for letters and special characters or symbols to be utilized.
When creating your password, you will want to do the following:
- Use uppercase and lowercase letters.
- Use numbers.
- Use symbols.
Ideally, you will not only put numbers at the end of your password. Users often put their birthdate at the end, which is too common and easily guessed.
An example of a weak password would be: johndoe1982.
An example of a strong password would be: JoHn19!@DOE#$82
While you should always leave out personal information when creating a password, the strong password example above would still be very difficult to guess.
3. Change Your Password Often
It is recommended that you never keep the same Gmail password for too long. If there has been some sort of data breach, it will be quite some time before your account will be accessed. Ideally, you will change your password regularly in an attempt to stop any unauthorized access from occurring. A good rule of thumb is to change your password once every 3 to 6 months.
4. Create a Long Password
Users will want to create long passwords. It is infinitely harder to guess a 12 character password than a 6 character password. When creating your password, try to choose a password that is at least 8 characters in length with 12+ characters being the ideal choice.
5. Use LastPass
If you are the type of person that routinely forgets their passwords or wants an easier way to organize their password, LastPass is a great option. This free program will not only store your password, but it comes with a highly optimized password generator.
The great part about the generator is you can choose to:
- Add symbols
- Add numbers
- Use uppercase and lowercase letters
- The length of your password
LastPass will also remember any password changes you make and can be turned off if necessary.