Whether you work in a technological field or not, you probably understand the crucial nature of having a secure password for your devices and various accounts. Events like the Equifax data breach show the potential consequences of not giving security the attention it requires. One of the best ways you can protect yourself and your business from potentially disastrous data breaches is by developing a secure password strategy to keep your accounts private.
Passwords are the final line of defense to keep your online accounts, personal devices, and any work-related data safe. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to ensure your passwords stay private and are as difficult to decipher as possible. Use these secure password strategies to keep your sensitive information safe from hackers and accidental breaches alike.
Avoid Recognizable Words or Numbers
Generally speaking, your passwords should never contain an actual word in any language since this only makes it easier to crack, especially if the word has some sort of significance to you. Try an alternative strategy. For instance, if you want your password to contain the word “husky”, consider using “hu$ky” instead. The idea is still there, but since the recognizable word “husky” is no longer there, the password is harder to crack.
Additionally, there are a few numbers or number combinations you should NEVER use in your passwords. These include:
- Your birthday or the birthday of a spouse, family member, or friend
- Your PIN number
- Your phone number or a family member’s phone number
- Your Social Security number
Not only are some of these numbers easy to find through publically available information, but a few numbers put together (especially your Social Security number) could easily be used to steal your identity as well as attack your account. Don’t make this mistake.
Use Different Passwords for Each Account
It’s hard enough to remember passwords, so generating an entirely different password for each of your devices or accounts may seem like a daunting task to keep track of. However, this strategy will increase your security immensely. Too many people use a single password for most of their accounts. Of course, if even a single account is hacked, the hacker now has access to each account secured with that same password. The best way to keep this from happening is to simply use a long list of strong passwords and never reuse a password.
Create Random Passwords
People tend to gravitate toward familiar words or numbers to make their passwords easy to remember. However, a much more secure choice is to create passwords consisting of completely random letters, numbers, and symbols, and to create a different random combination for each account. The more random and scrambled the password is, the harder it will be to decipher. Whether you use an algorithm or just come up with your own options, these randomized passwords are the most secure choice.
Pro Tip: Random passwords are secure, but also difficult to remember across accounts. Use a secure password manager like LastPass to store your passwords and prevent you from typing a long string of characters with every login.
A Secure Password Strategy
Password security directly depends on the passwords themselves. Are they too easy to guess or access? If hackers or others with bad intentions can easily get their hands on your passwords, your information is at serious risk. While developing and maintaining a secure password strategy may seem like a pain, it’s ultimately worth the additional effort.
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