How Strong are Your Passwords – How to Keep Your Information Safe
Nowadays, we are spending more and more time online. This, therefore, means that we are placing ourselves at an ever increasing risk of having our personal data stolen, or of having our different accounts hacked. It doesn’t matter what information you have online, you should endeavour to make sure that all the passwords that you create are as strong, (hard to crack), as possible.
Before even looking at how to create a strong password and keep your information safe, we would like to pass on one critical piece of advice. No matter how many websites, etc., you are subscribed to, you should always have a different password for EACH account, and you should change them on a regular basis. If you use the same password for multiple sites, and any of these suffers a password leak, it is possible for hackers to gain access to your sensitive information. All they need is access to your email account in order to use the ‘Reset password’ function, and gain access to your online bank accounts, Paypal information, etc.
The best way to keep this from happening is to construct long, unpredictable passwords.
How strong are your passwords?
Long is strong
The strongest passwords are the ones that are constructed of random configurations of numbers, letters – both upper and lower case, and symbols. Each of your passwords should be at least ten characters in length – the longer it is, the harder it is to crack.
Using mnemonics is a great idea
Mnemonics are a great way of using letters and number to remember a phrase. People of a certain age will remember ‘Never, Eat, Shredded, Wheat’ as a way to remember the order of compass directions. Why not make up a password in the same way. For example, Iw2Ea£oc4mT! (I want to eat a pound of carrots for my tea!) – is such a ridiculous sentence it is easy for you to remember and harder for a hacker to crack.
Passphrases are more secure
Using a random selection of unrelated words as a password such as ‘always which penguin twist deposit’ will slow down anyone trying to access your information illegally as there is no method in your selection.
Never use part of your username
Although this may sound like an obvious thing to avoid, many people still use all or part of their username as their password. This is probably the easiest way for any hacker to gain access to your private details.
Use a password manager
As it is obviously difficult to keep track of multiple, complicated passwords, the ideal way to manage them is to utilise a password manager. You can even use a password manager to generate a random password for you. Each time you log into an account, the password manager will automatically insert the information for you, releasing you from the necessity of having to remember it yourself. There are several password managers to choose from including Dashlane 4 and Last Pass 4.0.