How To Create A Strong Password To Protect Your Accounts
A strong password is one of the crucial things in maintaining online safety and security. It’s important to fully grasp the importance of a strong password as well as learn to create a hard-to-crack one.
Why Strong Passwords are Important?
Your password is essentially the main barrier that keeps others from your online accounts. Once your password is compromised, the hacker essentially gets free access to all your personal information along with sensitive data that can lead to identity theft and more. Hence, it is important to have a strong password.
Hackers have several ways of cracking or getting access to your password including the following:
Hackers can create an automated program to create password combinations. They can input every information they have on you which you may include in your password. Brute force attacks do not handle long passwords though; this makes lengthy passwords stronger.
This attack uses an automated program that combines dictionary words in common ways. You can evade this attack by using uncommon words or using multiple random words.
Phishing attacks use social engineering to trick or intimidate you into unwittingly providing your login credentials or other personal information. It usually involves an email or SMS and a compromised link.
Existing Data Breaches
Some hackers gain access to multiple passwords or log in credentials by hacking companies or major sites. Many hackers publish such information from data breaches on the internet for profit.
What is a Strong Password?
In essence, a strong password is something that you can easily remember but one that’s hard for anyone else to guess. Keep in mind that your password is what keeps others from prying into any private as well as essential data and information in your accounts. This goes for all your social media accounts, online banking accounts, file storage accounts, and the like.
Hackers continuously come up with more sophisticated ways to crack passwords. Some can even infiltrate your phone with the use of spy apps. You must, therefore, stay one step ahead and make your password as strong as it can possibly be. In coming up with password ideas, consider the following tips:
Make It Long
Length is a critical factor when it comes to password strength. Hackers have programmed password crackers that could crack short passwords in a matter of hours if not shorter. A strong password is ideally at least 12 characters in length. Of course, the longer and more complicated your password, the better. Just make sure that it’s something you’d easily remember.
Mix it Up
It’s best to use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols for your password. This makes your password stronger and harder to guess.
Don’t Use Common Substitutions
Hackers and password crackers could easily guess common substitutions such as using the number 3 in place of the letter E or zero instead of the letter O. Moreover, avoid using memorable keyboard paths. Don’t use sequential keyboard paths like qwerty.
Don’t Use a Single Word
Avoid using single words, no matter uncommon, as these are vulnerable to the so-called dictionary attacks. You can instead opt to use uncommon phrases or use several random words that would only make sense to you. For instance, instead of VULNERABLE, use EasyPeanutDaisiesCrying instead.
Avoid Using the Same Password
Many people use the same password for multiple accounts as they find it more convenient. The problem with this is it makes your multiple accounts more vulnerable to hackers.
Make It Unique
In addition to the aforementioned, make your password as unique as possible by keeping any personal information out of it. Avoid using your or your loved one’s birth dates and other important dates to you. Don’t use names of those close to you, not even of your pets.
How to Keep Your Online Accounts More Secure?
Account security must be kept in mind starting from the time you create an account. This includes choosing hard-to-guess security questions and creating a strong password. Here are other things you could consider to make your accounts more secure:
Password Generator and Password Manager
You can use a random password generator to come up with a unique password if you have trouble coming up with one. Such passwords are usually more complicated and harder to crack. If you also have trouble remembering multiple passwords, you can opt to use a password manager. Of course, you have to make sure to remember the master password.
This will add an extra protective layer to your accounts. You can do this for your social media accounts, online bank accounts, and more. Some apps have a multi-factor authentication or MFA feature. You can also use MFA apps if you prefer. In addition to your password, you may be required to input a one-time PIN or biometrics (fingerprint, face recognition, eye scan, etc.). An MFA makes it harder for anyone to gain access to your account even if they do crack your password.
Keep your most essential passwords updated regularly. This includes passwords for your social media accounts, email, online banking, password manager master password, and the like. Also, if you do update, make sure to change the entire password and not just a character or two. You should also avoid recycling old passwords.
The stronger your password, the more secure your accounts and your data will be. Make your password as unique as you can and steer clear of common password patterns and combinations. Avoid using words or numbers that could easily be connected to you. As much as possible, change your password regularly and never use the same password for multiple accounts. Keep in mind that your account security could very well depend on your password.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of password is most secure?
A strong password uses a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It must be unique and long too.
Where should I store my passwords?
You can simply write your passwords down and store them somewhere safe. You can also opt to use a password manager, just make sure to use a strong master password.
Is it OK to use the same password for everything?
You should actually avoid using the same password for everything. In addition, avoid recycling your old passwords. Some hackers practice credential stuffing or using previously stolen login credentials from a website and then use them on other websites in the hopes of finding a match.
Is it safe to store passwords on your phone?
There is a risk to this especially if you’ve simply saved your passwords as a note. You can however use a password manager with a strong master password.