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The most essential part of strong security to keep your private information safe starts with creating a strong password. Using something easy to remember, like ‘password’ or ‘admin’, is definitely not the safest way to protect yourself from prying eyes. If you are guilty of this, these tips will help you secure your accounts and protect your delicate information and data.
To create and maintain a secure password:
Don’t use dictionary words.
Hackers aren’t just guessing your password until finding a match. Dictionaries, foreign and English, are run against your passwords in an attempt to gain access to your account. So forget choosing random words found in the dictionary, as they can be just as vulnerable as familiar words. Be cautious when using common substitutions such as ‘@’ for ‘a’ or ‘$’ for ‘S’ as they also fall prey to a hacker and can be scanned for.
Don’t use easy to remember names or numbers
It is not suggested to use your name, a relative’s name or significant dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries. Although they may be relevant to you and easy to remember, they are easier to crack and should be avoided.
Don’t write your password down.
Writing your password down or typing into your phone for easy retrieval may seem like a good idea, but if this information is left unattended it can easily fall into the wrong hands. It is a better practice to keep your password private through memorization, deciding on something difficult to crack but easy to recall when needed.
Don’t enter a password over a Public Wi-Fi connection.
Public Wi-Fi is everywhere, from coffee shops to hospitals. These connections should never be compared to or trusted in the same way that you view your secured, password protected connection at home. These connections are incredibly helpful when you’re out and about, but you should never enter your account passwords over them. Public Wi-Fi uses an unsecured network, usually being shared by many people at once. This means no security and makes it far easier for a hacker to retrieve your passwords and gain access to your private information.
It’s important that you do:
Set unique passwords across all accounts.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This phrase is relatable to password security in that one single password should never be used on more than one of your accounts. This will leave you vulnerable to the potential of unauthorized access across all of your accounts. We have so many accounts to keep track of these days, from banking to social media. These large companies also fall victim to data breaches from time to time. This can expose your private information through no fault of your own. Setting unique passwords across accounts will limit these risks.
Use long passwords.
Though they may be harder to recollect, long passwords are also that much harder to steal. Simply put, long passwords ensure better security and should be used when locking your account down. A password with 12 or more characters with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols is ideal. If remembering a password seems daunting, 6 characters, although less secure, is still within the acceptable range.
Update your passwords
You might receive a temporary password when signing up to a new account. Use the helpful tips here to change this to a more relatable password as soon as possible. It is also a good habit to change your passwords on a regular basis. This helps ensure that if your password has been compromised, with or without your knowledge, a new and unique password will render the old password useless.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Sometimes passwords aren’t enough to consider your account fully protected. 2FA is an added layer of security to ensure that even in the event that a hacker gets your password, it will be of little use because an extra step will be required to gain access to your account. This feature is linked to your smart device and will send a notification, usually in the form of a code that needs to be submitted after successfully entering your password. Many apps use this essential security feature and we advise you to take advantage of it. It takes very little time to set up and will notify you via text or push notification on your smartphone or tablet when information is trying to be accessed.
Identity protection is crucial in this digital age
Nothing is certain in this world, including password security. But creating a password following these useful tips will help guide you to build a more secure password to protect critical information and lessen the chances of cybertheft.