5 Password Security Tips
Password security is necessary in the 21st century. These days, hackers have many tools and techniques at their fingertips for gaining unauthorized access to anyone’s accounts. Oftentimes, the strength of your passwords is the only factor standing between your data and malicious actors. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top tips for strong passwords to help you stay safe online.
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1. Create Unique Passwords for Each Account
One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating passwords is using the same one across multiple accounts. While this may seem convenient, it’s actually careless and dangerous. If someone were to gain unauthorized access to one account, then they could easily log in to others with the same credentials.
To ensure maximum security, create a unique password for each account you own. Avoid using familiar words, names, dates, and phrases, as hackers and software can easily guess those. Also, never include personal information like addresses or phone numbers. Instead, try coming up with strings of random characters that you won't forget.
2. Make Your Passwords Longer
Hackers often use brute-force attacks to crack passwords. With modern trial-and-error algorithms, they can guess countless combinations of characters in rapid succession. In fact, today’s hackers can crack some short passwords in minutes, if not instantly.
Long passwords are stronger than short ones in most cases. Ideally, your passwords should contain at least 16 characters including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. However, the longer they are, the better, because each character is like a tumbler in a lock. The more characters your password has, the more attempts and resources are needed to guess it.
3. Don’t Reuse Old Passwords
Passwords become increasingly vulnerable over time. That’s why it’s so critical to update them regularly. We recommend changing your passwords at least every few months, but your exact timeline will vary according to your unique needs. Just don’t repeat earlier codes or simply rotate your credentials between accounts, as this essentially defeats the purpose.
4. Try Password Manager Software
Another fantastic way to keep your passwords safe is to use a password manager. Password managers store all your login credentials in an encrypted format so that no one else can access them. This is especially useful if you manage multiple accounts across different clients, websites, or platforms. There are many free and paid password managers available today, such as LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.
5. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Finally, consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a generated code each time they log in to an account. This blocks unauthorized account access even with the correct credentials, often stopping malicious actors in their tracks.
2FA is one form of multi-factor authentication (MFA). It always requires two forms of identification for account access, while MFA may demand more. You may already be familiar with this method of password security if you use services like online banking. Some providers even require it to reduce the risk of data breaches for themselves and their clients.
Don’t Neglect Password Security
Strong passwords are an essential part of good cyber hygiene. The best ones are long, unique, up to date, and protected by two-factor authentication. Consider using a password manager if you find yourself forgetting login details or storing credentials on your desktop. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way towards secure passwords for all your accounts.
By taking the time to prioritize password security, you can protect yourself both now and in the future. If you have any questions or concerns about password security, then we encourage you to contact us today. We’d be happy to discuss your options and find a solution that fits your unique needs.