Security is your responsibility-unique passwords for all accounts, and you have to remember them.

While researching security breaches and staying updated in security news, I have consistently seen that insider negligence continues to be a top factor in organizational security breaches. This means we are responsible when it comes to remaining secure, and one way that this needs to be practiced is through password security.

A best practice is to have a completely different (as in not just two characters different) password for EVERY account. If you are social like me, you have 20+ accounts among social networks, media outlets, professional accounts, entertainment and the list continues. But how can we remember all these passwords? Especially when they aren’t our birth dates, best friend’s name and other simple passwords that anyone could hack. It can be very intimidating and tempting to just stick with Password123 for all your accounts, but don’t do it.

We are always asked how long should a password be?

It is generally accepted that longer is better. Passwords should be at least 8-12 characters in length, but 16-18 characters are even better. Depending on what the account allows for, you should make your password as long as possible. In addition to length, your passwords should be a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.

Tip: to remember these long passwords think of sentences for each account that align with each character in your password. For example the password Bn8tk$.Wi@P! could have a sentence like “Bart never ate the kangaroo’s money. Will is at Philadelphia!”  This sounds cheesy, but it works.