A strong password can prevent phishing and spamming attempts.
Phishing - Trying to retrieve passwords by disguising electronic communications (email, IMs, websites, etc.). For example, a link may contain malicious code to masquerade as a password retrieval form, when in reality it is harvesting your credentials.
Spamming - Sending unwanted mass emails, which can contain phishing links OR your email can be compromised to send the spam. A compromised email or social media account can be used to send spam, sometimes without the user's knowledge.
A strong password is one way make your data more secure. One way to create a strong password is using Diceware..
Diceware is a technique where a password is created using a set of 5 six-sided dice to randomly create a 5 word pass phrase.
Password breakers typically use brute force hacking with a dictionary file to determine a password. Passwords that use special characters in place of common letters are not secure (for example using @ for "a"). This method of password breaking can take anywhere from a few seconds to hours.
Passphrases literally take centuries to break.
For a dice list and more information on how to create a passphrase, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation website.
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is another layer of security that can be used to protect users' data.
It is s a secondary way to authenticate with a system. After a user enters their login credentials, a second layer of information is required to access the system. This can be in the form of a pin number, text message to a pre-determined phone, email, or phone call.
Many websites and systems that contain sensitive information offers 2FA.
The EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense Website has more information about 2FA.
Password managers are systems that allow you to manage multiple passwords across multiple sites.
LastPass is one such site that can be used to centrally use passwords across the web. The system also uses browser extensions.
It is highly recommended to use a passphrase to secure a password manager.