This happens a lot … and it is indeed frustrating. If you find yourself back here frequently I strongly recommend using a password management program such as Lastpass.

The button below will take you to a form where you can enter your email address (your username is your email address and vice versa). You will be sent a link that you must click on to change your password.

BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T GET THE PASSWORD CHANGE EMAIL? It should arrive in a few minutes … Maybe it is in your spam folder. Sometimes people enter their email address incorrectly … so try it again just in case. Less common, the web site could be down or malfunctioning.

Password Do’s and Don’ts

Here are a few tips for creating strong passwords. Take a moment to review these, and consider strengthening some of your passwords if they fall short.

  • Create unique passwords that that use a combination of words, numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lower-case letters.
  • Do not use your username as your password.
  • Don’t use easily guessed passwords, such as “password” or “user.”
  • Do not choose passwords based upon details that may not be as confidential as you’d expect, such as your birth date, your Social Security or phone number, or names of family members.
  • Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary. Password-cracking tools freely available online often come with dictionary lists that will try thousands of common names and passwords. If you must use dictionary words, try adding a numeral to them, as well as punctuation at the beginning or end of the word (or both!).
  • Avoid using simple adjacent keyboard combinations: For example, “qwerty” and “asdzxc” and “123456” are horrible passwords and that are trivial to crack.

Some of the easiest-to-remember passwords aren’t words at all but collections of words that form a phrase or sentence, perhaps the opening sentence to your favorite novel, or the opening line to a good joke. Complexity is nice, but length is key. It used to be the case that picking an alphanumeric password that was 8-10 characters in length was a pretty good practice. These days, it’s increasingly affordable to build extremely powerful and fast password cracking tools that can try tens of millions of possible password combinations per second. Just remember that each character you add to a password or passphrase makes it an order of magnitude harder to attack via brute-force methods.

Avoid using the same password at multiple Web sites. It’s generally safe to re-use the same password at sites that do not store sensitive information about you (like a news Web site) provided you don’t use this same password at sites that are sensitive.

Never use the password you’ve picked for your email account at any online site: If you do, and an e-commerce site you are registered at gets hacked, there’s a good chance someone will be reading your e-mail soon.