9 Essential Tips to Keep Your Passwords Safe and Secure
Password security means more than hiding your pw on a Post-It Note under your keyboard. Here are our 9 Essential Tips to Keep Your Passwords Safe and Secure.
- Use a combination of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols: A password that includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols is more secure than a password that uses only letters or only numbers. In fact, research shows the difference between numbers only and an 11-character password with all 4 variables goes from instantly being brute hacked to THREE YEARS!
- Avoid using obvious words or phrases: Avoid using easily guessed passwords like your name, your pet’s name, or common phrases like “password” or “123456.” Hackers often use software that can easily guess common passwords.
- Use a password manager: A password manager is a software application that securely stores all your passwords in an encrypted format. You only need to remember one master password to access all your other passwords.
- Don’t reuse passwords: Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. If one account is compromised, all your other accounts will also be at risk. Use a unique password for each account.
- Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a second verification code, such as a text message or a biometric scan, in addition to your password. This can prevent unauthorized access even if your password is compromised. Yes, it can be a pain in the butt, BUT this extra level or protection is effective.
- Avoid using personal information: Do not use personal information such as your name, birthdate, or address as part of your password. !!!BONUS TIP!!! Avoid answering social media quizzes or posts that ask for such information like mother’s names, street you grew up on, or other personal identifying details.
- Change your password regularly: Set a reminder to change your passwords every few months to reduce the risk of unauthorized access,
- Beware of phishing scams: Be cautious of phishing scams that attempt to trick you into giving away your password or personal information.
- Use encryption: If you need to send sensitive information, use encryption–a way to scramble your data– to protect it from unauthorized access.