Passwords......They really are important!
How many websites do you hold accounts for?? Too many to remember is probably the answer, and there is no easy way to remember them all without duplicating them or resorting to some sort of pattern. Its too easy to reset a password and just stick an extra “1” or a “!” at the end.
A reported 92% of us use the same password across multiple accounts……your data is at risk!
Here are some tips to ensure your passwords are as strong as possible:
1) Make them loooonnng! Advice is to make them at least 12 characters long. There is no minimum length for a password, the longer the better!
2) Try making it a nonsense phrase. As we have just said a long password is good, a long password made up of random words and phrases is better! Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations. If your passwords are made up of words and phrases that are not in the dictionary, published anywhere and are not grammatically correct they will be much harder to hack.
3) Include numbers, symbols, upper- and lower-case letters! Use a good mix of all the characters to make you password harder to crack.
4) Don’t use personal information like your Date of Birth, Maiden Name, City of Birth etc, all this information will be available on the internet, its not a good idea to use them in your passwords.
5) Never reuse passwords, if cyber criminals have completed a large-scale hack of an email server, lists of the compromised emails and their passwords are often leaked online. If your account was compromised, and you use the same combination across multiple accounts, cyber criminals will be able to access all your other accounts. Its really important to use different passwords for all your online accounts.
6) Password Managers are a gift!! Try one! They are great! There is no way we can physically remember all the passwords for all our online accounts, Password managers store the passwords in an encrypted format and provide secure access to all the password information with the help of a master password. It also stops you having to constantly reset passwords when you can’t remember them and reduces the chance of you duplicating past passwords. There are plenty of free ones out there too!
7) Keep them secret! It sounds obvious, but really do keep them to yourself! Don’t leave them on a postit stuck to your computer at work, or have a folder named ‘PASSWORDS’ on your phone. Don’t log into your Bank Account whilst sat on the bus and be weary of public WiFi. You could try creating a hint sheet, and call it something random on your computer, or again, try a password manager.
8) Change them often! A good rule to follow is that the more sensitive the information, the more often you should change them!!
If you want any advice on how to keep your data safe just get in touch!