Passwords are important. We are using them everywhere and all the time, e.g. when using facebook, when shopping online with an own account, when logging into our own computers, etc. We should take the time to think about how we use our passwords since they are one of the most sensitive security breach. One month ago, linkedin has been hacked and 6.5 million passwords have been posted online. Is yours among them? Mine wasn't. Nevertheless, I changed my password and reconsidered my password routine. Fortunately, I haven't reused my password often but sometimes I did. Of course I changed these passwords, too (and don't reuse them anymore).
Rules of Thumb:
- don't use the same password for several web sites/applications (In case you are an average internet user with 25 accounts, you might need a tool where you can safely store your 25 different passwords, e.g. Keepass or Clipperz, note however that the latter is an online site again that might be hacked as well ...)
- change your password on a regular basis (in an ideal world this would be weekly but in a normal world less is ok too as long as you change it regularly)
- choose secure passwords that are unlikely to be hacked (e.g. not your name or the name of your child attached with the birth year - more inspiration on passwords you shouldn't use can be found among the 25 worst passwords of 2011 ;-))
Below is a nice infographic by Lifehacker visualizing a summary of what you need to know about passwords. It has been posted in this article by Lifehacker which I recommend reading as well since it also provides more advice on passwords.