For your own safety, choose a good password.

Hint: password is not a good password. 123456, qwerty, your name, and letmein are also bad choices. See this chart at Gizmodo for nearly 500 more bad choices. If your password is there, run, don’t walk, to change it. This should be common sense, but even in 2010 people just don’t get it.

Why is this important? Computers are faster than ever at cracking passwords, so limiting yourself to lowercase letters gives a hacker 26n permutations, one of which is your password. Adding even one letter increases the number of permutations exponentially. Adding numbers, capital letters, and (when the site permits it) special characters increases the number of possible keystrokes to choose from.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the chart in this post, and remember that longer and funkier are better.

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