The majority of people today are aware of the importance of using strong passwords online, yet if you ask many will confess to still using passwords like 12345, aaaa, and admin. Are you guilty of using a simple password multiple times across the web? Read on as Keeran Networks discusses how to create strong passwords that will help keep your information safe.
4 Characteristics of a Strong Password
Minimize your chance of having your password decoded or guessed by making sure it follows these four tips:
- Go long. While there is no universally accepted password length, you should aim for a password that is at least 12 characters long. The longer the better, but we realize that a 24 digit password may not be feasible for everyone.
- Mix it up. Use a combination of numbers, symbols and letters (capital and lowercase).
- Be mysterious. Don’t use personal information as part of your password. Things like your last name, birth date or anniversary are easy to guess, as they are usually listed in multiple places online.
- Be unique. Common phrases are easily guessed, so be sure to stay away from passwords such as “password” or “qwerty”. Even substitutions won’t be much help here (i.e. P@$$word), as these terms are simply used by too many people and are well understand and easily cracked by hackers.
The Golden Password Rule: Don’t Use the Same Password for Everything
This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to password management. Using the same password for all your accounts leaves you extremely vulnerable because as soon as someone gets a hold of one of your passwords, they have all your passwords.
If you really hate the idea of having to create a new password for all your accounts, consider creating one password for low impact sites and then using unique passwords for high impact sites (i.e. online banking, email, etc.). At least this way if your online fantasy football account gets hacked, you aren’t also looking at having your credit card compromised.
We realize that people aren’t going to be able to remember all their passwords, so here are a couple of tips on how to keep track of your many login credentials:
- Use a password manager. Be sure to check reviews to make sure you’re signing up with a reputable, safe platform.
- Keep them in a password document on your computer. If you’re going with this route, just make sure you don’t name the document “Password List” or something super obvious.
Keeran Networks knows all about keeping data safe. Give us a call to learn more about our complete IT services.