We live in a world where constant connectivity and online communication are critical to most people’s daily activity. The number of passwords a person has can vary widely depending on factors such as age, job, and personal habits, but some studies have shown that the average person has nearly 200 passwords.
As people increasingly use digital devices and online services, they need to create and remember passwords for each account or service they use. Strong passwords are essential for protecting our personal and professional information from cyberattacks but managing this many different passwords can be a challenge. This is why people tend to reuse the same passwords for multiple accounts or use weak passwords that are easy to remember but also easy to guess. A weak password can easily be hacked, which can lead to a range of consequences from stolen identity to financial loss – and if stolen passwords are also used for a business purpose, this can also be devastating for your organization.
In honor of World Password Day, here are our top tips for creating secure passwords that can help you stay safe online:
- Mix It Up: A strong password should include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Many sites are now starting to require this, but even if that’s not the case, using a variety of characters makes it harder for hackers to guess your password.
- Don’t Be Common: Common words and phrases such as “password,” “123456,” and “qwerty” are some of the most common passwords used by people. Avoid using these types of passwords or using public facts such as birthdates or phone numbers, as they are easy to guess and can be easily cracked.
- Write It Out: A passphrase is a combination of multiple words that are easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. For example, “HikingWithMyDogInTheMountains” is a strong passphrase that can be difficult to guess or crack.
- Make It Long: The longer your password is, the harder it is to guess or crack. Aim for a minimum of 12 characters in your password, and the longer the better.
- Create Variations: It can be tempting to reuse the same password across multiple accounts, but this is a significant security risk. If one account is compromised, all the other accounts with the same password are also at risk. Even slight variations give you a leg up on hackers.
- Change Passwords Regularly: Changing your passwords every few months is a good practice to ensure that your accounts remain secure. If your site doesn’t require it, you should make it a habit to do it yourself. This way, if a hacker gains access to your password, changing it can limit their access to your account.
- Use A Password Manager: Password managers are applications that store all your passwords in a secure vault, and you only need to remember one master password. This makes it easier to use unique and complex passwords for each account without the risk of forgetting them.
Creating strong passwords is essential for protecting your personal and professional information. By following the tips for creating strong passwords, you make it much more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to your accounts or devices and significantly reduce the risk of your accounts being compromised. Remember that protecting your online security is an ongoing process, and taking the necessary precautions can help prevent potential cyberattacks and keep your information safe.