Here's a couple things you can do to protect against hackers:
- Do NOT use a dictionary word as your password. (If you must, string several together)
- Do NOT use standard number substitutions. Think "P455w0rd" is a good password? N0p3! Here I thought I was being so clever and that I had a very strong password by doing this but cracking tools now have those built in.
- Make it long. (The longer, the better!) Today's processing speeds mean that even a short weird password like "h6!r$q" is quickly crackable!
- Use different passwords. If one is hacked, and you use it on all or many of your accounts, the hacker then has access to all of them! This would be very bad!
- Give bogus answers to security questions but make your answers memorable. Think of them as a secondary password.
- Use a mix of Alpha, Numeric, Capital letters and Special Characters.
- Use a unique, secure email address for password recoveries. If a hacker knows where your password reset goes, that's a line of attack. Create a special account you never use for communications and make sure to choose a username that isn't tied to your name so it can't be easily guessed.
- Opt out of Spokeo and WhitePages.com. One of the easiest ways to hack into an account is through your email and billing address information.
Source: Tips from Wired magazine, December, "Kill The Password"