In the computerized world we are living in, passwords are something everyone eventually must deal with. Whether it is for work emails, or for your smart devices or cell phone. Having a secure password that you can remember but hackers cannot guess is important. So how do you do this and avoid reusing an old trusty password repeatedly?
There are a few ways. From creating longer and more secure passwords to using passphrases. These should be nonsensical, using both upper and lower cases letters, numbers and even symbols. The combinations are as endless as the imagination. Keeping variation in capitalization, numbers, and symbols in your passwords at random can keep hackers guessing.
Here are 10 ways that can be used to help make sure passwords or pass phrases are secure:
1) Do not use the same password for multiple things.
2) Use random symbols and numbers in the password.
3) Make sure passwords are at least 13-15 characters in length, the longer the better.
4) Use capitalization in unexpected places. (I.e., “Save the Whales” can be changed to sAvethewHaleS to make it harder to crack).
5) Users who choose a passphrase, can also use abbreviations of that phrase. (i.e., “Save the number for later in the year” may read St#4LiTY).
6) Use a passphrase of 3 to 6 random words mashed together.
7) Use of a password manager app can allow you to keep all your passwords in one secure place while only remembering one master password.
8) Do not keep your passwords written down on your desk or monitor.
9) DO NOT share your passwords with anyone.
10) Another tool is the use of biometrics for password security, (i.e., fingerprints or facial recognition is most common).
Your password or pass phrase is the last line of defense between you and criminals looking to steal your data. There are so many ways hackers can break into your system now. From brute force attacks to phishing and malware, to dictionary attacks where the hackers use the dictionary to go through and try and guess the password on weakly protected accounts.
Using dates and phrases that are easy to guess with a quick web search is the quickest way to let hackers in. Be smart in your password choices and keep your digital data safe. Even when using multiple passwords, users should also use other methods of security.
Multi-factor authentication, account lockout policies, and secrets questions with answers that are not necessarily correct, but memorable to the user are all clever ideas. If passwords must be written down to not be forgotten, then consider keeping them far away from the computer or desk area. It is always best to memorize passwords, but a password manager is another solution for many. There are many good password manager apps, such as Dashlane, LastPass, and KeePass.
Passwords are how we keep everything secure in the digital world, from our banking and financial data to our social media and personal life. Keeping our identities secure is something we all must think about. Keep these tips in mind the next time you are creating a password for some new app or transaction. There are even password generator apps that can help you create solid passwords that are much harder to crack.