What for: To keep your account from being hacked.
Windows 7 lets you set a password to log in to the system (or more accurately, to your account on it). If you do not set a password for your account, other people (relatives, visiting acquaintances, plumbers, etc.) will be able to use the computer in your name in your absence. In the best-case scenario, the unauthorized user may change your desktop wallpaper to something funny. However, they can instead opt to infect your device with malware, copy private information, or corrupt files you need.
If you use a short and simple password, then strangers will be able to guess it easily. The more complicated and longer your secret password combination, the harder it will be for someone to hack your computer. Use a strong password that:
- Consists of 8–20 characters.
- Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @).
- Is not an actual word or known phrase.
- Is not the same as your password for any other of your social network accounts.
- Does not contain information that strangers could easily find out (your name or the name of a loved one, pet’s name, date of birth).
To change your password or create a new one:
- Press the Start menu button in the bottom left corner of the screen and select Control Panel in the right column of the menu.
- If you have configured the sections of the Control Panel to be displayed by category, open the User Accounts and Family Safety section and click User Accounts. If the items in the Control Panel appear as a list, select User Accounts.
- Select Change your password. If no password has already been set, select Create a password for your account.
- In the window that opens, enter the current password for your account and enter the new password twice. If you are creating a password for the first time, you will only need to enter the new password twice.
- If necessary, enter a password hint (a word or phrase to display if you forget your password) that will help you remember your password. Do not enter the password combination itself as the hint.
- Click Change password.