Staying safe with passwords

Use these tips to make your password more secure

Passwords are designed to keep your information safe. Unfortunately, your password can be compromised in any number of ways.

Malicious software, brute force cyber attacks, and data breaches can all cause your password protection to fail.

However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you have the strongest password protection. Learning how to protect passwords across various accounts can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be difficult.

Change it up

One of the best things you can do to protect your password is not to use the same password and username for multiple accounts.

Yes, it is much easier to remember the same password and username when you use it for multiple accounts, but you are also increasing the odds that you will be hacked.

For example, if a data breach occurs at your email server, and you use the same username and password for your online banking, the hackers have access to both your email account and your bank account.

Keep in find that huge data breaches are not always announced immediately, and by the time you are alerted, your bank account could have already been taken over by hackers.

Use a passphrase

A passphrase is a phrase or short sentence which contains many more characters than the typical password.

For example: “I love ice tea on a hot July day!”

Although this passphrase contains both dictionary words and a proper name, the length of the “password” makes it so exceedingly difficult to crack that it’s virtually impossible.

If you choose to use a passphrase for your security, it can be almost any phrase you desire. Parts of your favorite song, a quote, or even a phrase you make up on you own. Just like with a password, you want to ensure your passphrase is not common and therefore easy to guess.

Avoid simple passwords

Nothing makes you more vulnerable to hacking than choosing a short password or using a commonly used word.

You should avoid using words found in a dictionary and names of people or places, these are the first passwords that hackers typically try when hacking an account.

This does not a mean that you must use only symbols, but it is a good idea to include a mixture of uppercase and lower case letters, at least one number, at least one symbol, and be at least 11 characters long.

Doing so will make it much more difficult for hackers to crack your password.

Protect your passwords

Do not store passwords on your computer, phone, or tablet.

If you mobile device is lost or stolen, or if your device suffers a hacking attempt or falls victim to a malware attack, your passwords will not be safe. All of the information gleaned from your devices can and will be sued to access your accounts.