How secure are your passwords? Maybe you think they are good enough, or you don’t see any reason someone would try to hack little ole you. Yet, in this modern society everything has basically turned over to digital. We live in a world of computer code, and things like access to our bank account and our identity are guarded by a few characters punched in on a keyboard. The least we can do to keep ourselves safe is to try to make those keys as secure as possible. So, what can we can we do to keep our passwords secure?
- Create a strong password
- Use different passwords for different accounts
- Change passwords regularly
- Password managers
- Don’t share your password and disable auto-complete.
Create a Strong Password
So you think that your password is strong? A lot of people probably do, and unfortunately, a lot of them are probably wrong.
You could put it to the test. Though I don’t recommend putting your password in random places to test it, there are some trusted websites you could use to test your password making abilities. Though you probably shouldn’t use any real passwords that you are currently using.
To create as secure of a password as possible, there are some thing that you probably should do, and some things you should not.
It’s recommend that your passwords do not contain words that can be found in the dictionary. Which might seem like a bit of an oxymoron, but you should be able to work around it. You could $pe11 l!k3 th1s, or create an anagrams or memory aids, or just use words that only you will know.
Your passwords should not be in a certain sequence or have repeated characters.
Your password should not contain any documented details about you, like social security or phone numbers, passports, drivers license, birthdays or family member’s names. If I just excluded everything you think your capable of remembering, don’t worry, we have some suggestions for that later on.
What you should do, is try to include 12-16 character, but 8 at the very least. You should also use at least one letter and at least one symbol, and preferably at least one capital letter and a space if the website allows. The idea is to create a code that someone is not going to be able to easily guess.
Use Different Passwords For Different Accounts
I know you want to be able to remember your passwords. It’s a pain having to go and re-set your password every time you need to log in, especially for websites that lock you out for a designated amount of time. But using the same password for every account sets you up for vulnerability. You don’t want someone gaining access to your credit cards or checking account because they were able to get into your Instagram.
You may think that this is something that is never going to happen to you, but there are numerous kinds of hackers who can be different levels of nefarious. You’re information is valuable for all kinds of reasons, even information that you may think is harmless. So you should try to make each password as unique as possible, and defiantly don’t use words or phrases that are common, or used often among certain groups.
Change Passwords Regularly
I know, another pain. How will you ever remember them all if they are constantly changing? But the longer you use the same password for, the more vulnerable it becomes. Changing passwords on the regular adds another level of security to keep your data safe. Which brings us to point four.
The one downside to password managers is pretty obvious, that if someone hacks into the password manager, they may get access to all the passwords. This though, seems to be a pretty rare occurrence, and honestly, you are probably taking less risk with a password manager than you would be by not following the other suggestions in this article. If you can actually remember all those secure passwords and change them regularly without forgetting, then by all means have at it!
But password managers are quite safe. There is a reason that they have become fairly popular. It’s a great low-risk way to have a plethora of secure passwords, without having to struggle to remember them all the time. You just have to remember the master password for the password manager. Some multi service platforms even seem to be offering their own built in password managers now. And some have taken security a step further, by just asking for a code it sent to your phone when you sign in.
Don’t Share Your Password And Disable Auto-Complete
It should go without saying, but keep in mind that you should never share your password with any one, even if it seems fairly harmless. Think about this, you share a password with a trusted friend by text message, but what if someone else somehow gets access to that text message? If you use the same password for everything, you put yourself at risk.
You should also disable the auto complete and password memory in your web pages, especially if you share your computer with others.
While the danger of being hacked is always there, and you should hire professional cyber security folks for your business to keep it safe and protected, doing at least these 5 things should help protect your accounts password to some degree.