Every 39 seconds, a cyberattack happens on the internet. This totals to almost 2,250 attacks per day!
You might think that these criminals only go for bigger fish, but the truth is, they often target regular Joes like you. Everyone’s fair game to them, which is why it’s important that you take precautionary measures to fight these fraudsters off.
One way to do so is to have strong passwords for your online accounts. If you know what makes a good password, this can make it a lot harder for cybercriminals to breach your accounts.
Read on for 5 key password creation tips to keep them at bay!
1. The Longer, The Better
You might notice that a website says you need 8 characters minimum for a password. So you rack your brain for the shortest password possible so you have fewer letters, numbers, and symbols to memorize. But that’s a bad idea!
When you’re creating a password, the longer it is, the better. This has to do with mathematics; more specifically, statistics.
The more factors you involve in a password, the more difficult it is for someone to guess it. For example, if a password is just 1 letter, there’s a 1/26 chance of you guessing it. But if it’s 2 letters, that increases to 1/52.
Now throw in letters and symbols, and the chances of someone guessing your password are infinitesimally small.
2. Avoid Using Dictionary Words
The whole point of strong passwords is that they’ll be incredibly difficult for cybercriminals to guess. So if you use dictionary words, then that’ll be easier for them.
For instance, let’s compare a 12-character string of random letters and numbers with the password of “password1234.” “Password” might as well be 1 part they can guess, and “1234” is another. There’s a much higher chance of fraudsters getting lucky with your password if you use dictionary words.
On that note, you should never use personal details in your passwords, such as your:
- Address (either number or street name)
- Loved one’s birthdays
- Pet names
- Favorite band names
All of the above are very to figure out, so it’s best if you just don’t even consider them for your password.
This also goes for how to password protect a file on Mac or PC. You’ll want to make your password as random as possible so that no one can access your file.
3. Use Different Passwords
We know: it’s tough work creating a strong password, so why not save some time and effort by using it everywhere? It can be a pain coming up with a different password for every site!
However, this isn’t a good idea at all. In most cases, if hackers figure out your password for one site, they’ll try it in combination with your email in an attempt to log into your other accounts. And if you use the same password everywhere, that’s like giving the cybercriminals a master key for every account!
You want to have a different password for every account so if one’s breached, the others are still safe.
4. Change Your Passwords Regularly
Yes, using long strings of random letters, numbers, and symbols is great for password security. But don’t get lulled into a false sense of security! Data leaks happen all the time, so you always want to be on the move.
What we mean is that you should change your password every so often. There’s always a chance that a hacker will get lucky and guess one of your passwords, so switch them up before they can do so. After all, it’s harder to hit a moving target rather than a stationary one.
On that note, you shouldn’t reuse any passwords either. Even if they seemed very secure and undiscovered by fraudsters, play it safe and assume that it’ll be guessed at some point in time.
If you treat hacking situations as “when” occurrences rather than “if” ones, you’ll have a better mindset to prevent data breaches from happening in the first place.
Lastly, not only should you change your passwords regularly, but you should also keep them secret. The fewer the people who have your passwords, the less chances of them being leaked.
5. Use a Password Manager
After all the above advice, you might be wondering about how to store passwords. Randomized passwords can be so hard to remember, and if you write them down either online or on paper, there’s a chance they can be compromised as well.
To remedy this, there are handy password managers you can download. They’re secure browser extensions that store your individual passwords by encrypting them, which means they’ll be safe.
Not only do these password managers save passwords, but they’ll also autofill websites so all you’ll have to do is just press “log in.” You can even use these extensions to generate strong passwords so you don’t have to do it yourself!
So if you were worrying about how to remember passwords, put that worry to rest. Password managers will do practically everything for you, so there’s no excuse not to get one.
Know What Makes a Good Password for Better Security
By knowing what makes a good password, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor. While it might take a little more time and hassle to set these passwords up, it’ll all be worth it in the end when you don’t have to deal with the fallout of a hacked account, such as your identity being stolen.
All these tips can be hugely beneficial to everyone, so don’t hesitate to share them with your family and friends. They’ll be glad you did! If you enjoyed reading about what makes a strong password, then find more information about cybersecurity by browsing our blog page now.