A friendly password PSA

Lulzsec may have called it quits, but their efforts still remind us that now is always a good time to check our password security. First, you might want to know if any of your accounts were affected. This site tells you that based on your email address and the list of email addresses and passwords released by not just Lulzsec, but some other well-known groups. You might have figured out by now whether your account was hacked by now, but there might be one you’ve forgotten about.

This is also a good time to change your password. For the love of all that is holy, stop using “password” as your password. Other bad choices include your name, the name of anyone important to you, the name of the site, the year you were born, anything you can find in a dictionary, and plain old number. Longer is generally better, but complexity matters more. That means taking advantage of all your resources and using them well: capital letters, numbers, and punctuation. Every site should let you use numbers (and if they don’t, shame on them). Almost every site allows capital letters, and many sites allow punctuation. Don’t be afraid to use everything you can, and don’t use the same one everywhere. Would you use the same lock and key everywhere? That’s what you’re doing when you use the same username and password. Switch up your passwords. Seriously.

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