With all of the data on the Internet and the extreme ease of accessing any tidbit of our lives, from online banking to medical records and online shopping, it’s extremely important you pay attention to how secure your online accounts are.
Think of each online account you have as a locked door. The lock you use on the door should correlate to the relative value of the materials behind the door. Would you want to have a single lock that opens your house, your car, your safe deposit box and your garden shed? Probably not. You’d probably have a small lock on your shed, a normal lock on your car, a lock and deadbolt on your house and your safe deposit box is probably guarded by several locks, a security system and possibly guards.
Your online accounts should follow a similar regimen. Banking and other accounts that have financial information or credit card data should use extremely strong passwords – 8+ characters and consist of letters (both capital and lower case), numbers and symbols. This is what we refer to as a “complex password". Each of these accounts should utilize different passwords.
Sites where you have to register just to view information can be treated as a lower security risk. Do we really care if someone steals your account and is able to view the Washington Post? Probably not. Sites that require basic registration can utilize the same password and you can consider using basic passwords in this case.