Weak passwords expose us to online security threats every single day. Statistics indicate that more than 80 percent of hacking-related breaches are a result of weak or stolen passwords. If you want to secure your personal information and online assets, make using strong passwords a habit. Here are 7 expert tips on improving your password security.
Use unique passwords
It’s important to create a unique password for every account you create. More often, if a hacker manages to access one of your accounts, they will try the same password on your other accounts. So, reusing a password exposes your whole internet assets to security breaches. There are only so many password combinations we can humanly come up with, so leave the task to a random password generator to create impossible-to-crack ultra-secure passwords for all of your accounts.
Do not include personal information
Again, never use your personally identifiable information to create your password. For instance, hackers can easily get information like your birthday, names, and street address online. They will use hacking software to try out thousands of combinations using your personal data.
Ideal password length
A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and incorporate symbols, numbers, and letters. Typically, a password that is 14 to 20 characters long is strong enough. A good way to remember a strong master password is to use phrases or lyrics from your favorite song or movie and add random characters in a pattern that doesn’t look obvious.
Generate passwords offline
A good password generator tool should run locally on your Linux, Mac, or Windows computer as well as on your Android or iOS device, meaning that the passwords you set are never shared across the web.
Change passwords regularly
Passwords should be changed periodically; typically after a year of use. Additionally, whenever you suspect a breach on your account or after you’ve shared your password with anyone for unavoidable circumstances, be sure to change your password.
Use a Password Manager
Make your digital life simpler with a strong password manager. A password manager lets you store the passwords of different accounts in one single vault for easy account access. Whatever the case may be, never share your password over email or text messages. A good password manager allows for secure sharing of hidden passwords with an option to revoke the password when needed.
Opt for a secondary password instead of a security question
When setting your security questions, avoid using personal information like your pets name, mother’s maiden name, the street you grew up in, etc. Chances are that hackers can easily access this information on social media sites. Instead, set up 2-Factor Authentication or a fixed secondary password for account recovery in case you forget your main password.
The Bottom Line
With advancements in technology, people share a lot of sensitive information online. Never put your online assets at risk by using weak passwords or reusing the same password for different accounts. Remember, one single security breach can expose all your online accounts to hackers!
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Jack Warner is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies. A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools. You can learn more at: https://www.techwarn.com/author/jack-warner/