World Password Day (May 5th 2022) serves as a global reminder to secure your credentials with complex passwords. A strong password can prevent identity theft, data loss, and other security-related vulnerabilities.
Many people have poor password habits, both at home and at work, that exposes them to cyber threats. According to a Security.org survey from 2021, 68% of people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, which also affects their workplace. Increase your cybersecurity at professional and personal levels by following these best practices outlined below:
3 Tips for Creating Stronger Passwords
Strong passwords help protect your sensitive information. There are three essential ways you can strengthen your passwords:
1. Minimum Length
The strongest passwords will be 15 characters or more. A passphrase pro-tip for a longer password is to use lines from a favorite song, movie, or book, as long as it doesn't include personal information.
Avoid using common keyboard patterns to make your password longer. Some common patterns include “qwerty" or other keys that follow one after another on the keyboard. Bad actors can easily guess patterns like these because, while they are easy for you to remember, they are easy for anyone to figure out.
2. Mixed Characters
Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols where you can. While you should include symbols and numbers in your password, be wary of common substitutions. For example, the symbol "@" is a common substitution for "a." The number "3" is common for "e." Hackers are aware of these common inclinations and will try to guess them.
3. Avoid Personal Information
Adding personal information such as a birth date, name, or address can make it easier for a hacker to guess your password. Any identifying information is fair game for a hacker.
We also recommend being wary of how much personal details are exposed on your social media accounts or online. Unless you plan to rename your dog or alter your birth certificate, use words and complex phrases outside of your personal information.
Check out our Free Cybersecurity Tools and create a complex password using:
How to Keep Passwords Secure
While creating a strong password is the first step, you also need a plan to keep them as secure as possible:
It's critical to not repeat the same password across all of your important accounts. Create a unique password for every login to improve your password hygiene. When you avoid recycling your password credentials across platforms, you are less at risk of multiple accounts getting exposed in a single data breach.
While the exact timeframe varies, updating your passwords every few months is a good practice. When you get a security alert notification, you should verify the alert system and then update your password immediately.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA provides an additional security measure for your company's data by using several factors to verify a user's identity, such as biometric scans and one-time codes sent to a separate device or email address.
Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Learn more about how to optimize your VPN for Anywhere Operations.
Many browsers, like Chrome and Safari, have autosave features for all your passwords. However, there are limited protections for these passwords, which is why it's better to input them manually.
An alternative to autosaving is using a password manager. This type of software saves and encrypts all of your passwords. You only need to know your login for the password manager, and everything else is accessible. A great advantage of using a password manager is that you can secure it with MFA or Single Sign-On (SSO) measures to help prevent attacks.
Our Free Cybersecurity Tools
Improve your cybersecurity and make passwords stronger by starting with these steps listed above.
Check out our Free Cybersecurity Tools to protect your data:
- Password Generator — Generate complex passwords in seconds.
- How Secure Is My Password? — Score the complexity and strength of your passwords.
- Have I Been Pwned? — Investigate whether your password has been exposed in known breaches.
You can also contact Net Friends today to learn more about our managed IT services.