19 tips to help you with your password security

'123456' has been dubbed the worst internet password of 2013. Photo: Reuters

In the wake of eBay's customer databases being breached by hackers, we look at what internet users can do to protect themselves online:

  • Don't use only letters or only numbers.
  • Don't use names of spouses, children or pets.
  • Don't use phone numbers.
  • Don’t tell anyone your password.
  • Avoid entering passwords on computers you don’t control.
  • Avoid consecutive keyboard combinations— such as qwerty or asdfg.
  • Don't use the same word as your log-in.
  • Don't use any word that can be found in the dictionary.
  • Don't use passwords with double letters or numbers.
  • Avoid entering passwords when using unsecured WiFi connections, such as the airport or coffee shop, hackers can intercept your passwords and data over them.

Speaking to ITV News, Rob Waugh from ESET Security advised you should "not use the same password anywhere else on the web."

Security software company McAfee offer these tips for setting new passwords:

  • You should change your passwords periodically.
  • Use comprehensive security software and keep it up to date.
  • Use least eight characters of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your password.
  • Use the keyboard as a palette to create shapes. %tgbHU8*- Follow that on the keyboard. It’s a V.
  • Change your internet router password every few months.
  • Get a password manager - such as PassPack to remember all the passwords
  • Have fun with short codes or sentences or phrases. 2B-or-Not_2b?
  • Check your password strength. If the site you are signing up for offers a password strength analyzer, pay attention to it and heed its advice.
  • You can also write a tip sheet which will give you a clue to remember your password.

Read more: The top 25 worst passwords of 2013