Secure passwords are an issue that internet users face everyday. Every time you sign up on a new website, you are asked to use a password for your login. You look around you, making sure the resident computer security expert doesn’t see you, and you type in that one password that you use for every other site. You justify the use of that password by saying, “It’s a secure password: it contains more then 10 characters, some upper case, some lower case, some numbers, and a symbol” (which doesn’t actually guarantee a secure password).
“So what is a secure password?” you ask. Simply put, a secure password is one that is somewhat long, easy to remember, and only told to people or websites that you trust. The last one is the key. It is very simple to create a website that has the sole purpose of harvesting passwords from users. A website that promises, and maybe delivers, a service that the user would find useful. The user signs up for it, and puts in their password, and usually email address as well, and now the admins of that website have your email login and, if the password is the same, your email password. The website admin could also try and use the combination on Facebook, Twitter, banking sites, etc. and see what information, and possibly money, they can get.
So next time you sign up for a website, ask yourself “Do I trust the admins of this site with the ability to read my email? Change my Facebook page? Post on my Twitter account?”. If you answered yes then by all means use the same password as those other services; but, if you answered no, do yourself a favor and use a new password.