Creating strong passwords is an essential step to protecting yourself online. Passwords are your first defense against criminal access to your devices, accounts and personal information.
It is easy for hackers to go unnoticed at first, but the implications of someone getting into your account are still very real. There are some obvious and other not-so-obvious signs that your account has been hacked. If you experience any of these signs, the best thing to do is reset your password immediately and keep an eye on your accounts for unusual activity moving forward.
Your antivirus should always be on. If you notice it is off, it is likely the work of a hacker’s malware installed on your device.
Use a passphrase—a string of words or a sentence—rather than a single password
Add numbers and special characters (e.g., !,@,#,$,%,^,&,*,?)
Avoid using common words or phrases that anyone would know
Avoid consecutive keyboard combinations (e.g., QWERTY, ASDFG, 1234)
Do not use easy-to-find personal information such as your date of birth or pet’s name
Select “Never” when your web browser asks to remember a password on a shared device
Always sign out when finished using an account, especially on shared networks or devices
Enable 2-factor authentication to double your protection
Avoid entering passwords when connected to public Wi-Fi, such as at an airport or coffee shop
Use different passwords for different accounts
Utilize a secure password manager to remember all your long passwords, like LastPass
Never share your passwords with anyone
What to Do
If another password has been compromised:
- Reset your password
- Clear your browser cache
- Log out of all devices, if available
- Turn on 2-factor authentication for the account, if available
Change Your Password
Inspired to create a stronger password? Put your new skills to use and change your FSU password
Creating Strong Passwords
Watch this short LinkedIn Learning video to learn more strategies for creating strong passwords and passphrases
Have I Been Pwned?
Find out if your email or phone number has been exposed in a data breach