The annoyance of remembering passwords strikes again. It's bad enough that we tend to use simple, easy-to-remember passwords for our Web logins -- we also tend to pick one or two passwords and use them again and again for our e-mail, banking, Facebook and everything else. That's bad. In fact, that's really bad. If your password is compromised, someone could easily gain access to your e-mail account. And change that password. And then go to every site you're registered on and change those passwords -- the replacement passwords are always sent to your e-mail address.
Use different passwords for different sites. At the very least, change up letters, symbols and capitalization if you plan to use the same word or phrase across multiple sites. Make absolutely sure you don't repeat a password across sites that have your credit card information or social security number. Your e-mail password is the most important. Keep it secure and don't use it for any other sites.
One last password tip: Don't tell other people your passwords. Even if you trust them, it's not a particularly good idea. The more people who know your passwords, the greater the chances that those passwords could be accidentally compromised. All these password rules make our online lives more secure, but they don't make them easier. Next up: a tool for taking some of the inconvenience out of password management.