Password: a word that conjures frustration and annoyance. Whether we can’t remember them or can’t come up with ideas for new ones, passwords are surprisingly difficult for most people. Don’t worry though, keeping all of your accounts safe and secure can be easier than you think. Take a breath and get ready to follow these easy steps.
Let’s start off with what not to do.
1. Common Words and Personal Information
Using personal information like your name, age, or even your child’s birthdate as a password isn’t as sneaky as it seems. Why? Because that information is easy to look up.
Common words and phrases can also be picked up by tools designed to crack passwords.
2. Reuse Passwords
Unless having your identity stolen is a goal, reusing passwords is a very bad idea. If one of your accounts is hacked using your email and password, the cybercriminal then has the credentials to access every one of your accounts. So if your Facebook account is hacked, don’t be surprised when your bank account is also hacked.
I know what you’re thinking; this means more passwords to remember. Don’t fear; there are plenty of applications, such as eWallet, LastPass, and 1Password that can keep all your login credentials in one place. That means there is only one password you need to remember!
Next up is what to do when creating a password.
1. Numbers, Capital Letters, Symbols
Most services that require a password also require the use of at least one capital letter, a number, and a symbol. The best way to do this is to integrate them creatively, for example instead of “Chemistry1!” try “ch3m1strY$Tr3.” Also to be considered is the number of characters in your password. Although some services only suggest using eight characters, between 12-16 is much more ideal. Amazingly, adding just one more character can increase the security of it exponentially.
2. Two-Factor Authentication
One of the best ways to protect your accounts is to add another layer of protection. A great example of this is when you use security questions to verify your identity. Of course, remember that personal information can be easily looked up, so make sure the answers are something only you would know. Another example of two-factor authentication is Google’s 2FA. After logging into your Gmail account from a new device, a message is sent to your mobile app to verify that it’s you who is requesting access.
3. Change Passwords Frequently
Okay, so we understand that changing passwords often makes things more complicated. However, to keep an account secure, it is key to update passwords every 90 days. A password management tool will make that an easy task.
They may cause a lot of frustration, but passwords serve a valuable purpose; to protect sensitive data and information. Trust us, taking those few extra steps to secure your password is well worth the effort.
Want to learn more about keeping your personal and professional accounts secure? Contact the experts at Netzbahn.