How To Create A Strong Password
Most people use passwords every day, often without even thinking about them because they are stored in users’ browsers. They are often taken for granted, that is, until they are hacked. To avoid having your password compromised, and having your information stolen or mis-used, there are a few simple guidelines to help you create a strong password that can keep your information safe.
Use letters, numbers, and special characters:
As much as you love your cat, and it is funny for you to type in mistermuffins, that is not a particularly secure password. The simple addition of capital letters and numbers make the password much harder to crack, so in this instance a password like MisterMuffins15 is already a significant improvement.
For the icing on the cake put in a character like $#@^%&*. It may look like you’re cursing, but that is a sure way to guarantee that your password is safe. So to fully transition the sample password to a more secure version, try something like M1$terMuff#ns15. That way, you have a safe password, and it can still remind you of your cat!
Avoid Sequential Order:
While it might be fun, running your finger across a row of keys does not make a very secure password. No matter how crazy it looks, asdfghjkl is not the least bit random; rather, it is a highly common password. It doesn’t look sequential, but the fact that it is every letter across the middle row of your keyboard makes it essentially as sequential as abcdef (which, for the record, is significantly harder to type in quickly).
Similarly, adding sequential numbers after a word does nothing to enhance the security. So not matter how clever you think you might be, cleverpassword1234 is no more secure than cleverpassword. Mix random numbers in, put them in the middle of the words, and no matter what, make sure that it’s not vital information like your birthday, anniversary, or anything like that.
Avoid Cliché Words:
If you use the word “password” anywhere in your password, chances are high that you’ve already compromised your internet security. If you use letmein or guest, you are essentially doing just that – letting in guests. Even more random words are shockingly common: monkey, batman, and ninja are all common in password construction. When in doubt, avoid words altogether, but if you need something you can remember, make sure to consult a list of common passwords before thinking you’re safe.
Don’t Use The Same Password For Every Site:
For some of you, this is obvious. For others, it is an eye-opener. But put it in context for a moment: if you use one single password for everything, and one site is compromised, all sites are immediately open for unwanted activity. Depending on your use, this can mean something as innocuous as having your Amazon or other shopping sites hacked, but can be as serious as your investment portfolio or online banking profile. By having unique passwords for each site, if one site is hacked, that is the only information that is at risk.
Change Your Passwords Often
Most experts say passwords should be switched out every six months. For most of us, that means that right about the time you get used to whatever password you’ve set up, it is time to change it again. You may never learn your password, but most importantly, hackers won’t either.