My friend, Rebecca, posted the funny little meme above on her website It makes a very good point.

When you play silly games and give away information about the names of your pets and other personal information you could put yourself at risk of exposing your password or security questions. Of course, if you followed the best practices for creating a password, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Some things to never use when creating a password:

Your name.

The names of relatives, spouses or pets.

A type of animal or car that you’re known for liking. Such as a Yorkie or a Mustang.

Your grade school, high school, or college.

Your birth year or the year you graduated school.

A branch of the military that you served in.

Your hobby.

Bible verses.

Names of sports teams or players.

Popular movies.

Your zip code.

What should you use? For a long time, you were told to mix it up with strings of letters and numbers and irregular characters. These days security experts say longer is better. Just take a sentence like “frozenfishsticksarequicktofixonfridays.”  Longer passwords are harder for automated programs to crack and can really mess with humans attempting the process.

Also, when coming up with answers for your security questions you don’t have to tell the truth. Consider making up a list with your fictional high school, pretend mother’s maiden name etc… and just use those responses.

And please make sure to enable two-factor authentication if you have it available for an account.