In today's virtually connected world computer security is more important than locking your car. Some basic guidelines are:
- password minimum length of 8 characters. Passwords with less than 8 characters can be brute forced (systematic guessing) in less than 5 minutes. 8 character passwords will take a very long time.
- password of mixed alphanumeric characters. The first step in breaking a password is using dictionary words because everyone uses dictionary words.
- Do not use personaly related information for your password like date of birth, dog's name, street address etc.
- Don't give your password out to anyone. Not even your bank! NO EXCEPTIONS!
- Please do not use the same password for more than 5 years. Some recommend changing passwords every three months. My goal is every two to three years.
For more information, I recommend reading the following articles:
- Minimal Security part 1: It doesn't have to be hard
- Minimal Security part2: Going all in (Having all your eggs in one basket.)