The Single Most Important Security Choice (and it's free)

Your email password should be complex and be different from every other password you have.

Many people think that their email doesn't have anything private or important in it. But consider this.
If I have access to your email, I can go to any other account you have and pretend I forgot your password, ask for it to be reset, and take over that account, from Netflix to your cell phone provider to your bank. I could re-direct your email to my own address, set up new accounts, maybe even request online banking or credit card changes, all in your name.

So SECURE EMAIL is extremely important.
If you choose to do only one single thing about your security, protect your email.

Two things matter. Your email password must be complex and unique.

Complex - any dictionary word or combination of them can be found by hacker programs in seconds. This includes swapping 0 for O and 1 for l and 3 for e and so on. Those make no difference any more. Your password should be long and random.

Sorry, I know that's tough, but it's super important.

You might try an acronym, using each word of a sentence. For instance, you could use something like "IrhtLmmualp2day", which uses the first letters from from the sentence "I really hate that Les made me use a long password today", with a little twist at the end to add a digit. 😊

Unique - You shouldn't use your email account password on any other service or account!
Why? This is the easiest and most common kind of "hack". When hackers got into Facebook a few years ago (learning 500 million facebook logins and passwords), or LinkedIn (164 million logins and password), or the Starwood/Marriott hotel chain (500 million logins and passwords), they stole lists of millions of people's passwords to those services. Then the hackers simply tried that same password and email address to see if they could get into the email account - so anyone who used the same password in both places just gave away their email password! Once they have that, the rest is easy (re-read the first paragraph above).

So one single request. Please make your email password complex and unique.

Was that too simple? Do you want to excel at password security? Ask me about MFA (multi-factor authentication), so that even people who know your password can't access your account, or ask me about using a Password Manager, to make all your passwords complex and unique, without having to remember any of them.