The internet has made it easy to share information with others. But when we do, our data is exposed and vulnerable to hackers who can use this information for their purposes. The good news is, there are ways to secure your information without compromising safety, and one of the cost-effective ways is by creating a strong password.
The big question is, what makes it strong, and how do you create one? Remember: the more robust your Password, the harder it will be to crack, leaving your accounts more secure in the long run.
However, many people often struggle to remember their passwords, resorting to writing them down or using the same one for multiple accounts, which puts them at risk of having their accounts hacked and used by identity thieves.
Luckily, there are effective ways to create strong passwords that are also easy to remember, so you don’t have to compromise between security and convenience. Here are eight tips for creating strong passwords and keeping your accounts safe from hackers’ prying eyes.
Change Your Passwords Frequently
Although it can be challenging to change your passwords every few months, especially when you’re coming up with new ones; however, we recommend this at least once or twice a year. This is especially important if you have multiple accounts! Plus, avoid don’t easy to guess words and phrases. It might also help turn on two-factor authentication for any of your accounts that support it.
In short, by having a second access method—like an email code or app notification—after entering your username and password combo, it makes it much harder for hackers to break into your online accounts even if they manage to get hold of one piece of information (your Password). So make sure you turn on 2FA whenever possible!
Use at least 12 Characters
Longer passwords are usually more secure because they’re hard to crack. Aim for at least 12 characters and use upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. (But don’t confuse long with easy to remember!)
Unfortunately, passwords like “love money” are terrible on both counts: not only is it less than ten characters, but there are no symbols or numbers in sight. Passwords like these can be cracked in seconds using brute force techniques—essentially just running through every combination of letters and numbers until you get it right.
So instead, opt for something complex yet memorable, such as an easily remembered sentence; I love money could become I love muffins win money! Or try substituting spaces with dashes (-) or underscores (_) to add length without too much complexity.
Include Different Types of Characters
Remember to include different types of characters. For example, Password and 123456 are only slightly more secure than QwerTyuiop. Be sure also to use upper and lowercase letters as well as symbols, numbers, and special characters such as exclamation points or percent signs.
You don’t want your Password to be easy to guess—but you also don’t want it to be difficult for you either! Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all rule for creating strong passwords. It all depends on how much risk you are willing to take on (and what type of account you are securing).
The good news is there are services out there that can help generate random passwords for you, so all of these tips should give you enough options when trying to create a new password. Also note: Make sure you write down your Password somewhere safe – preferably not on your computer!
Avoid Personal Information
The trick to creating a strong password is avoiding personal information like your name, birthday, and Social Security number. In addition, most sites require you to create passwords with at least eight characters. That means letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols (including spaces) are all fair game.
When in doubt: use longer passwords that are easier to remember but harder to guess than random strings of letters or combinations. Your Passwords should also never contain common slang terms, places, names, etc.
What Makes a Password Strong?
The more elaborate your Password, the better. A strong one should have at least eight characters of alphanumeric text and both uppercase letters and lowercase ones mixed in for good measure.
This way, they can’t easily be figured out by an algorithm or malware on your device. These tips will help you create an effective mishmash:
- Choose long strings containing various types of characters.
- Avoid repeating any single character twice within three words apart from punctuation marks, etc.
- Don’t use common dictionary terms such as “password.”
Features of a weak Password
- It uses common words, like “Password.”
- It’s easy to identify since it contains personal information.
- They are short and can be easily deciphered.
Need Help? Contact Us
If you want help creating an impenetrable password, contact us! We are experts in protecting personal data from being stolen by cybercriminals through security measures like passwords or two-factor authentication. In addition, our team can provide valuable advice on cybersecurity and what you need to stay safe in cyberspace. Call today for a free consultation.