You can be forgiven for not realizing that today is a holiday, and you can be forgiven for not knowing how to celebrate it because this is the very first time we have had it.  ‘Change your Password Day’ was proposed by writers as Gizmodo as a way to remind all of us to remember to change our passwords regularly and smartly.

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about how to change your password, called “Passwords.”  In that post, I suggested some of the common recommendations about how to increase the strength of your password;  if you have not read it, I recommend it.  The goal is to select something another person — OR COMPUTER — would not guess.   The recommendations to stump other people are easy, don’t use something that is identifiable to you.  Computers are a little harder to trick, however, because they can compare your password to dictionaries (in multiple languages) and other documents to find something that you might put together.  So, do not use a word in a dictionary or on Wikipedia or in a fact book.

Gizmado writer, Rachel Swaby discusses passwords in terms of how easy they are to break.  She provided this comparison below:

The chart is reposted from Ms. Swaby’s blog.

The chart nicely shows the relative difficulty of cracking passwords with different characteristics.   Long is better. Clearly, those that are not dictionary words, that have combinations of upper case and lower case letters and special characters are the best.  Even combined words, especially where you have numbers and special characters, are preferred to common words.

So, take a minute today and look at your passwords.  Are they strong?  If not, make them strong.