Passwords, what would’ve we’ve done without them? We use them to secure our online accounts every day. A strong password is a key (no pun intended) to a secure account and ultimately staying safe online.
According to a study done by researchers at Virginia Tech based on leaked password datasets over the last eight years, Most users choose a simple password and often reused them on different sites with little to no modification to them making it an easy guess for hackers.
SplashData also posted their annual worst password which is worth checking out. Did you find yours on the list? If you did, it might be a good time to set up a new one.
According to MIT Technology Review, the state of California, USA is pushing legislation to require manufacturers to program a unique default password for every product they make or need its users to change the factory assigned password before its used for the first time.
This probably would make you understand how important passwords should be taken and if you’re like me also make you wonder why this isn’t made a standard throughout the world.
Also read: Is your WiFi secure? 5 tips to keep your network safe and sound
Today, we’ll tell you some tips you can keep in mind before you set up your next password.
- Try to use a mix of alphabetical and numerical characters preferably at random.
- Passwords are case sensitive use it to your advantage use a mix of upper and lower case letters.
- If the site or system allows it add in special characters such as (!,@,#,$,%.)
- Avoid using names from pop culture, brand or team names or even random words such as pizza, dog or cat. Because the more popular the word is, the weaker password, it becomes.
- Try to mix in numbers between words it will also make it easier to memorize.
- Always make it a point to make your password at least eight or more characters long. The longer the password, the better.
- Avoid using personal details such as your date of birth, anniversary dates, last name, phone number, vehicle number, and close relatives or even your pet’s name as your password.
In a nutshell, the more unique, unrelated, complex, and longer the password is the harder it becomes for the hackers to guess. For example, if you set up a simple word as a password such as “canopy.” A hacker has to try approximately 600,000 (a very generous guess on the number of words on the English language) before he/she hits the jackpot.
While a more complex password containing a full Set of allowed characters and considering your chosen password is eight characters long, it would take 1,853,020,188,851,840 tries (10+26+26+19)^8 minus the one attempt which gets it right, which is a considerably better bet.
A password with a considerable length and all the characters as mentioned earlier would take an eternity for a hacker to break with current technology.
But if you’re too busy or just lazy, to come up with your password, a better alternative would be to use a password manager. Most modern password managers are a lot more efficient than humans with generating a secure password and storing them. Some of our ffavouritesare.
Platforms: Android, IOS, Windows, Linux, Mac.
LastPass has been a popular choice for people seeking password managers for quite some time now. LastPass only works from the cloud allowing its users to access it from anywhere using their client software.
Even the free version offers most of what people want like automatic password updater feature and an authenticator it also supports FaceID and native fingerprint biometric security system for Android making it one of the most secure password managers you can get.
Platforms: Android, IOS, Windows, Mac.
Dashlane is a pricier alternative compared to our previous choice but offers better customer support in the form of live chat and better breach alerts and a VPN service (for premium users only).
Although, its free account only allows you to use on a single device and caps your account to manage 50 passwords ar a time. But, If you’re willing to drop some coin Dashlane is a worthy product.
With so many online services popping up every day, creating and remembering passwords for each and everyone can become a challenging task. But if you value your data and your identity, it is in your best interest to take a moment to build a strong password to protect your accounts.
Also read: 5 common mistakes that compromise your gaming console’s security