In this digital age, learning how to create secure passwords and keep your data safe is no longer optional – it’s essential. With more aspects of our lives moving online, so too have our private information. From banking and shopping to even our emails, and social media – we’re entrusting companies and strangers with some of the most personal and sensitive data that can be found. So, it’s important to do our best to secure our information, and the best way to do that is to create strong and secure passwords.
In this blog post, we will run through some tips and tricks to help you find the perfect combination of characters that will secure your accounts, so that you can take advantage of all the services and information the web has to offer without the worry of someone getting an unauthorized peek into your most sensitive data. So, let’s get started with the basics!
What is a Strong Password?
Creating a secure and strong password is essential to keeping your data safe from hackers, intruders, and other malicious actors. So, what makes for a “strong” password? A strong password should be long, alphanumeric and include at least one special character. The more complex your password is, the more difficult it will be for cyber criminals to crack.
Some argue that using a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols can make your passwords too cryptic to remember easily, causing users to write them down on paper or record them on their computers. Longer passwords can increase the chances of entering incorrect characters or spelling mistakes when attempting to log in.
There is no single answer as to what makes for a strong password – what may bring you peace of mind could be completely different than someone else’s opinion. Passwords should never be shared with anyone or written down anywhere that could compromise your security, but this doesn’t mean they have to be so complex that they are impossible to remember. It’s crucial to find a good balance between complexity and ease-of-use when dealing with login credentials.
Tips for Creating Strong Passwords
Creating a strong password is an important step to keeping your data secure. While there are arguments for more complicated passwords that use combinations of characters, numbers and symbols versus using meaningful words and phrases, ultimately it is up to the user to decide what works best for them. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:
• Incorporate a mix of upper- and lower- case letters.
• Use combinations of at least 10 characters or more.
• Substitute numbers or special character for letters in words, i.e. 3xamp13s.
• Avoid any easy to guess personal information, such as birthdates or pet’s names.
• Try not to reuse the same password across multiple accounts or services.
By following these guidelines, you can create strong passwords that help protect your personal information from potential hackers and other malicious threats online. The next step is deciding on how to store and manage those passwords effectively. That’s why it’s important to use different combinations of characters and numbers to better secure your accounts without having to remember dozens of random strings of characters.
Use Different Combinations of Characters and Numbers
Using different combinations of characters and numbers can create more secure passwords than if you only used one type. This combinatory approach helps to increase the complexity of the password and make it harder to crack. By mixing up alphanumeric characters, symbols, and numbers, you can strengthen your password even further and better protect your data.
While this strategy is recommended by professionals, it can prove difficult to remember when combined with other strategies such as making a password lengthy. Creating an intricate combination of characters and numbers adds an extra layer of security on your accounts. It could possibly add to the inconvenience for people who struggle with remembering multiple complex passwords.
To make a secure password without sacrificing convenience, you may want to consider using a clever passphrase. Instead of exclusively relying on random generated numbers, insert predetermined words and symbols into it that are familiar to you. For example, instead of these random symbols “#_*&^%1” insert words that have personal meaning such as “aloha123!” Not only will this make your password easier to remember, but it’ll also increase the complexity of your password even further.
There is still no replacement for having a longer and more memorable password that contains a variety of characters and numbers. To ensure maximum security for your data, be sure to use different combinations in addition to making the overall length longer and easier to recall without writing them down. With this kind of precautionary measure in place, your information should remain safe from any malicious hackers or intruders.
When constructing a strong password using multiple types of characters, always consider adding extra layers of protection like two-factor authentication which requires two forms of identification such as answers to security questions plus access codes generated by text messages or emails. This way even if someone gets their hands on your password they still won’t be able to gain access unless they have those additional pieces of information as well.
- According to research from Google, nearly 70% of all passwords can be cracked within seconds.
- According to a survey by Keeper Security, only 17% of participants use unique passwords for each online account.
- A study conducted in 2017 found that nearly 60% of all passwords contain common words or phrases and less than 1% contain numbers.
Make It Lengthy and Memorable
Now that you understand why you should use different combinations of characters and numbers for your passwords, it is important to note the importance of making these passwords lengthy and memorable. Passwords that are too short and easily guessed can be breached very quickly by hackers. Many websites will ask for a minimum password length before allowing you to create an account so it is worth creating longer passwords from the beginning. For example, 8 characters has only 12 bits of entropy and could theoretically be broken within seconds, whereas 16 characters creates 128 bits of entropy which would take billions of years for even a powerful computer to break.
Passwords should also be memorable so users don’t forget them or have to write them down where they can easily be accessed by other people. One way to make a password memorable is to create an acronym or phrase out of letters, numbers, and symbols. For example: tuv1#Kn0wY0urPswd! This phrase stands for “take the time to know your password” which is much easier to remember than the random combination of letters and numbers such as “tuv1#Kj2h98y”. Keep in mind however that phrases and acronyms still can have flaws such as using words found in a dictionary so it is important not to rely solely on this type of memorization system.
Personalize with Symbols and Unique Words
Once you’ve optimized the length and memorability of your password, you can take security to the next level by personalizing it with symbols, numbers, special characters, and unique words. Using symbols, numbers, and special characters is simple enough – think of a creative way to add an ‘!’ or ‘#’ at the end of your password. Some more complex passwords might also include preceding symbols like the “@” symbol.
Word personalization is slightly more difficult to do when creating a secure password. It involves taking a normal word and adding a few modifying features to it, such as capitalization or alternative spellings. Let’s say you want to use football as part of your password; you could turn that into footbaLL! or F00tb@11. This further complicates the process of figuring out your password if someone were attempting to guess it.
For those concerned about forgetting their passwords when they’re complex, there are plenty of services designed to help store them securely – from stay-linked browsers like Google Chrome to external ones like LastPass or 1Password. Such services keep track of your passwords for you so that all you need to remember is one master password for log-in.
Why Are Strong Passwords Important?
It is extremely important to have strong passwords to keep your data safe. It may be difficult to remember the complexity of a strong password, but committing to stronger passwords goes a long way in keeping your data secure from cyber-attacks or unscrupulous individuals looking for easy access. Passwords are the first line of protection for any account and serve as the entry point for hackers or other entities who wish to commit identity theft.
Many people frequently make the mistake of creating weak passwords like “123456” or “password1” which can be easily cracked by even novice hackers. It is crucial that your password consists of at least 8 characters and is made up of a combination of upper and lower case letters, numerals, and symbols. By personalizing with symbols and unique words, you can create strong passwords that are both memorable and difficult to crack. Password managers are also an excellent method in generating varied yet secure passwords.
Keeping Your Passwords Secure
Once you know why strong passwords are important and have created one for yourself, the next step is to make sure those passwords stay secure. It is your responsibility to ensure that your data remains safe from potential attacks or other breaches of privacy. Here are a few tips for keeping your passwords secure:
Never share your passwords with anyone else. This can include sharing passwords through emails, text messages, or even verbally. Sharing passwords not only puts you at risk of having your data accessed by someone unauthorized, but it also violates trust if it is shared between partners, coworkers, or friends.
When creating new passwords, do not use personal information in them such as birthdays and phone numbers. If a hacker knows certain personal details about you, they could attempt to guess any new password related to such information and gain access to what should be otherwise private data.
Do not write down any passwords on paper. Even though it may be tempting to keep a list of your passwords handy, doing so defeats the purpose of keeping them secure in the first place. If someone were to come across the list or somehow learn where it is stored, all that hard work at creating a secure password would be for nothing.
Consider using two-factor authentication if available. This means adding an extra layer of protection when logging into an account by verifying the login through an app or text message sent to another device. Two-factor authentication can provide a much higher level of security and reduce worries when dealing with the potential of attacks and breaches on an account.
Taking precautionary measures when creating and managing strong passwords is essential in assuring that they remain secure at all times. Following these tips can help reduce risks associated with storing confidential information online and protect both users and organizations from experiencing major hacks or embarrassing data breaches due to lax security practices.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best practices for creating a secure password?
When it comes to creating a secure password, the best practices are to use at least 14 characters with a mixture of upper and lower-case letters, symbols, numbers, and if possible special characters. Passphrases composed of multiple words make it much easier to remember, but should still include different character types. Using only one type of character (such as all numbers or all symbols) can make your passwords easier for hackers to crack. It is also important to avoid using personal information such as pet names or birthdays. Ideally, you should also change your passwords often—at least every few months—and use different passwords across accounts to minimize the risk of data breaches. It is important to utilize two-factor authentication (2FA) when available. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code sent via text message or email in addition to your password whenever you log into an account. Following these simple steps will ensure your data is kept safe and secure.
How often should I change my password?
The frequency with which you should change your password depends on the sensitivity of the data or account it is protecting. If the data is highly sensitive or used to access financial accounts, it’s important to change your password regularly – ideally every month. For less sensitive accounts like social media, it’s more reasonable to change your password every few months or even every 6 months. If you suspect that someone may have gained access to your password, you should immediately update it so as not to risk any further breach.
What are some of the most common mistakes in password selection?
One of the most common mistakes in password selection is failing to create an original and secure combination. This includes using a word or phrase that is easy to guess (such as your name or birthdate) or creating a password with sequential numbers (for example, 12345). It is also important to refrain from using any part of your username, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your password. Many people make the mistake of using the same password for multiple accounts, which significantly increases the risk of data breaches if one account gets hacked. Some people opt for weak passwords that are too short and lack complexity; the minimum recommended length is eight characters.