I love these suggestions on how to “stay safe out there” as we navigate our way around our favorite social networks. For instance, “make sure you select or create a question with an answer only you would know, not something a hacker could easily find on your Facebook wall or Twitter profile”. Common sense right? Well that’s all well and good, but what I really need, what I really, really need, is some secure application or tool that will remember all my logins and passwords. Seriously, I can’t remember any of that stuff! It makes me crazy!

My memory loss aside, here are some great tips to safer social networking passwords.

Amplify’d from www.socialtimes.com

By their very nature, social networking sites like Google, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are gold mines for cyber criminals looking to steal your identity or hijack your account.  All four sites have recently revamped or released new privacy settings, largely in response to outcries from a critical public and skeptical media.

And, just in time for Halloween, Facebook unveiled a Houdini-ish new privacy feature, offering users a “one-time,” disposable password for use on public computers or to double-check the security of your account.

The disappearing trick is just a good reminder as any of the importance of using safe, secure passwords for all your online accounts.  So take a moment this month to review your passwords and follow these 7 top tips to stay protected:

1)    Be Creative: Create a password with a mixture of numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters.  Skip keyboard patterns like “qwerty” or sequential patters like “abcd1234” and go for the combo – it gives you more options and makes it that much harder for anyone to crack.

2) Make it Long: Your password should be at least eight characters long, but the longer the better.

3) Use Non-Identifiable Information: Forget that combination of your first pet’s name and the first street you lived on.  Never use information that people may find out about you, i.e. your maiden name, your employer or even the name of your uncle twice-removed.

4) Go Foreign: “Parlez-vous français?”  When it comes to your password, you should.  Try using foreign words that aren’t in the English dictionary.  And, better yet, combine those words with mixed-case letters, numbers and punctuation marks for extra security.

5) Stay Mum: It seems every site these days requires a password so you may be tempted to write them all down or send yourself an email to keep them straight.  If you have to have a written record, keep it stored in a secure place with a non-identifying label.  The same goes for your computer, create a unique name for the file where your passwords are saved.  Also, never reveal your passwords to friends or even family members.

Read more at www.socialtimes.com