Teach your children about the importance of creating strong passwords for all of their online accounts. Why risk making it easier for a hacker to get to your information? It’s just a good practice that everyone should follow and the first line of defense in keeping hackers out.
- Use both upper- and lower-case letters
- Incorporate numbers or punctuation marks
- Use at least one of these special characters: ! @ # $ % * ( ) – + = , < > : : “ ‘ .
- Make it at least 8 characters long.
- A strong password should NOT, in any way, use your personal information, such as name, phone number, Social Security number, birth date, address or names of anyone you know. (I know we all do this – how else are we supposed to remember it – right? Not a good idea, however.)
- Come up with something you can remember easily, but would be virtually impossible for anyone else to guess.
There is also the recommendation that passwords should be changed periodically. We all know that most people don’t do this. It’s hard enough to commit one to memory, let alone to keep changing it, but that truly is the safest way to go.
It is also recommended to never write your passwords down. Now I find that if I have to make some obscure, unrelated-to-me-in-any-way, crazy character password, I have to write it down or I will never remember it. I’m sure the experts will disagree with me on this, but for my sanity’s sake, I had to find a little place to keep written notes with my passwords tucked away.
As far as your young kids are concerned, part of keeping on top of what they are doing online is having access to their accounts. When you and your child sit and create a new online account with a strong password, you should be the keeper of it so you can always check up on them. You have the right to do this, and SHOULD be doing this.
Make sure your kids understand that they should never share their passwords with anyone but you. Also, educate and them and instruct them to never check the ‘Remember Me’ option when logging in on public computers (at school or the library).