Have you tried logging in to your account, only to find out your password was changed just a couple of hours ago? Believe us, it's extremely nerve-wracking! With cybercrime and cybersecurity issues on the rise, we can't stress enough the importance of having secure passwords, and that's what you're going to accomplish today.

There isn't a better time to do this than now. Otherwise, you're leaving your accounts extremely vulnerable and could result in hacking and identity theft. 

Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your passwords stay protected 24/7, keeping your online life as secure as possible.

Login password prompt The most secure passwords are both long and strong enough not to be touched by any unwanted party. Photo: Achin Verma/ Pixabay

1. Keep Your Passwords Long and Strong

This is a given, but passwords with at least 10 characters are stronger than those with eight and less. Instead of single words, try experimenting with login phrases.

2. Use a Combination of Letters, Numbers and Characters

Ideally, your password should be a combination of upper and lower-case letters, and in a random sequence as opposed to starting each word with a capital letter. 

You can also substitute one character in your password for another. For instance, you can substitute a zero (0) for the letter O, and you can use the number 3 in place of the letter E. For added strength, you can even add special characters such as "@," "#," "$," and "&."

3. Make Your Password Memorizable yet Hard to Crack

The password/s you set should be something of deep value and unforgettable, like your favorite car, person, restaurant, food or TV show. What matters is that the password you set for your accounts is something that you can easily remember, yet hard for hackers and identity thieves to crack.

4. Use a Personal Algorithm

Another way to keep your passwords hacker and theft-proof, according to app security company Veracode, is by creating your own cryptographic method involving mathematical and logical equations to make sure that they are encrypted. To bolster their security, you can combine unrelated words.

5. Use a Password Manager

LastPass screenshot LastPass screenshot Photo: lastpass.com

If you have a lot of passwords to store, and you want to fill the web form without the need to manually type your login details, use a password manager such as LastPass, now available as a web extension and in mobile app form. 

It is a digital vault that allows you to access all your stored passwords in any device. Setting up a LastPass vault is as simple as setting up a memorable (but hack and theft-proof) passphrase. 

LastPass saves the sites you access as you log in, import sites from your email/s, import/upload passwords from another password manager -- basically doing functions that make forgetting critical passwords a thing of the past. Its built-in password generator creates long and randomized passwords that protect your list from hackers online.

Should you choose to share your passwords securely, the password manager lets you send encrypted passwords to others, sync changes on other devices, and remove access once finished. It also has a Security Challenge if you want to check whether or not you have weak, old, duplicate and vulnerable passwords on your vault to be updated for improved account security. 

LastPass is currently available in Free, Premium and Family plans -- all with 30-day trials -- if you are using it for yourself or with a family. Alternatively, the MFA, Team, Enterprise and Identity plans, which come each with a 14-day trial, are your best bets if you are using it for your businesses.

With LastPass, you can keep your passwords protected from thieves and hackers every day.