Dear Amy: How should I choose a secure password? — Gretchen, Chicago
Dear Gretchen: There are lots of things you should keep in mind when choosing a password. Experts recommend choosing a password that contains lots of different types of characters, including lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. This makes it harder for someone to guess your password. The longer a password is, the stronger it is. The Microsoft Safety and Security Center, www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/passwords-create.aspx, recommends using at least 14 characters in your passwords whenever possible. They suggest an easy way to turn a sentence into a secure password.
Once you've come up with a password, you can test how strong it is at www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx. Remember to create different passwords for your computer and each website you use. Using the same password for everything is dangerous, because if someone hacks into one of your accounts, he or she will have the password to all of your accounts. It’s also a good idea to change your passwords every few months. Stay safe!
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