What is a good password, how frequently should I change my passwords and how do I protect my account at Facebook, Google and other accounts from identity theft?
a Good password consists of random capital and lowercase letters and numbers with ascii characters, (if the system allows them) of at least 8 characters long, more is only better if it is truly random combinations.
So for example P7g(o2Bfe3 as a password would be quite strong if the combination of these also meant absolutely nothing to you personally and it is truly random...
Protecting your Google, Facebook and other accounts from identity thieves is also improved if you have different passwords for all your accounts and you should avoid a situation where one password is re used as a compromise at one of the services or of your password storage could result in all your accounts being taken over.
Another level of security is added if you change your username. Many services allow you to change your account name, so instead of just using your email address or the same username at all the different services, change your username to something random. For example username a3E5699518F and password P7g(o2Bfe3 is quite a good combination and all this is great with different usernames as well as different passwords at all the different services.
In the real world if you add burglar bars or a security gate you have more difficulty getting into your home. The Internet is no different, if you add more security you are making it more difficult for yourself to get into your accounts as well.
It is easy to calculate how much security you need on the Internet:
The value of what you are protecting should be close to the amount of security that you exercise on an account. If you have a google account that is linked to your adwords, your adsense and everything Google, as Google is also now requiring you to do, then you stand the risk of losing your income if your Google account is stolen. So you would want to add the amount of security that matches your risk.
I will write additional articles on the subject of personal Internet security but here are a few tips to increase your security:
It all starts with the device you use to access your account, you are typing your information into that device and that device security patches should be up to date, no keylogger or other spyware installed.
The web browser that you use to access your accounts should be properly hardened and configured as web browsers remember what you type, remember passwords, usernames and other data related to making your visit and login to a web app as easy and transparent as possible.
After your login you should ensure that the data related to your visit is removed or deleted
There are many other more advanced things that you could be doing but at the end of the day, if the wrong person or group wants your data they can get it. If I am able to read your deleted data even after you have deleted and overwritten it a few times I am sure that many other people can as well...