Your passwords access personal information that you have stored on your computer and in your online accounts. If someone steals this information, they can pose as you in online transactions. In many cases you may not know about these attacks until it is too late. Create strong passwords and keep them secure.
How can I make my password more secure?
What if someone requests my password via email? Any e-mail that requests your password or requests that you to go to a website to verify your password is almost certainly a fraud. This includes requests from a trusted company or individual. E-mail can be intercepted in transit, and e-mail that requests information might not be from the sender it claims. Internet "phishing" scams use fraudulent e-mail messages to entice you into revealing your user names and passwords, steal your identity, and more.
What if I'm using a public computer? Computers such as those in Internet cafés, computer labs, and airports should be considered unsafe for any personal use other than anonymous Internet browsing. Do not check online e-mail, chat rooms, bank balances, or any other account that requires a user name and password. Hackers can purchase inexpensive keystroke logging devices which take only a few moments to install. With these devices hackers can harvest all the information typed on a computer from across the Internet.
What if my password is stolen? Be sure to monitor all the information you protect with your passwords, such as your bank account statements, credit reports, credit card accounts, etc. Strong passwords can help protect you against fraud and identity theft, but there are no 100% guarantees. No matter how strong your password is, if someone breaks into the system that stores it, they will have your password. If you notice suspicious activity on your accounts that could indicate that someone has accessed your information. Notify authorities immediately.
This is a list of the Ten Most Common Online Passwords. Did you make the list?
10. (your first name)
Source: PC Magazine; InTechnology.com