Most people who have made an account online in the past few years knows that a secure password is vital for your online security. Nevertheless, year after year, we see lists like this with easy to guess, unsafe passwords. The problem is finding a balance between a password that is secure enough to protect you, but not so secure that it’s impossible to remember.
Security should be at the top of your list when it comes to a password. Here are some things to bear in mind.
Make it long
One of the techniques that’s used to try to break a password is to run a computer programme that ‘guesses’ every combination of letters until it hits the right one. For passwords that are three letters long, this would take less than a second to break. That’s why it’s recommended to choose a long password that would present more of a challenge to these softwares.
Make it nonsense
There are a few easily guessed passwords that most people with access to your social media could guess. If you’ve got your maiden name on your profile, tagged yourself at the house you grew up in, or posted a picture of an old pet, there are clues to the passwords you might use. This is even more true for the names and birth years of your children, your hometown or your school, all of which tend to be easily found online.
Make it unique
31% of people use the same password for multiple sites. This means that one breach can become ten very easily, with each new profile containing personal information about you. If you’re able to, make each password different. This isn’t to say it can’t be a variation of a theme – choose a core word or phrase that you’ll always use, then add in something that will always change like the colour of the site’s logo or letters in the company name to make it a unique password each time.
Make it new
If you’ve been using the same password for years, there’s a very good chance it’s been collected by a cybercriminal along the way. One of the most common ways that breaches occur is through the sale of credentials online. On a yearly basis, a good habit to get into is a password overhaul. Update everything to a new password, then if your information is out there on the internet, you’re safe.
If you’re worried about remembering everything, consider a password manager. There are plenty on offer, both free and paid, that can become your toolkit for a safer online life.
The Zinc Support Desk manage users for apps, portals and more for a range of businesses. The security of these is paramount, so if you’re starting out as one of our users, make sure you take our advice to keep your account locked down.
If you’re looking for more advice on how to use our portals safely, speak to our support desk today. We’d be happy to help.
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