A strong password is one of the best methods to safeguard your accounts and personal data from hackers. Although most websites are secure, there is still a chance that someone will attempt to access or use your information.
Making secure passwords can seem complicated and overwhelming, especially when it’s a good idea to use a different password for every website you visit. Using the same password or a too-simple password still puts your web information at risk.
How to Recognize a Weak Password
Most people select passwords that are easy to remember. Many reuse the same password across numerous accounts, which scammers can quickly guess in a matter of hours. The most popular password is just “Password.” The key is to create passwords that are memorable but difficult to guess.
Marshall1968 is an example of a password that is easily cracked. Even though it has 12 characters, letters, and digits, it contains a name and other identifying information, such as a birth year. The password “F1avoR” combines capital letters and numbers, but it’s too brief. Both people and computer programs can quickly guess the letter l when the number 1 is substituted.
Best Practices For Strong Passwords
Despite technological advances to safeguard information, like device fingerprinting, it’s still critical to follow best practices to create a strong password. You’ll need to develop passwords that can thwart current password-theft techniques. Here are some tips:
- Do not use sequential numbers or letters. Avoid using numbers like 1234, Qwerty, JKLM, 6789, etc.
- Don’t use your birth year, month, and day. These details are widely accessible to cybercriminals who snoop through social media profiles.
- Use 8+ different letters, numbers, and symbols. Cracking a longer password with diverse characters is more complicated. For example, M0l#eb9Qv? uniquely combines upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Mix up the words. Hackers will find it challenging to guess a password thanks to this approach. Never use phrases or words from well-known songs, movies, or TV shows. Swap out letters for digits or symbols or intentionally misspell a passphrase or password. For instance, P8tty0G#5dn stands for “patio garden.”
- Keep your credentials safe. Always store personal and work passwords in a password manager program. Passwords should never be stored in digital documents.
Remember that if a hacker manages to guess one of your passwords, they will use that information to try to access all of your personal and business online accounts. They can use phishing emails to get into your system, so stay cautious and boost your email security, too.
Every software, hardware, website, and application needs a unique, secure password or PIN. It’s worthwhile to review your passwords and update them as necessary, and always update your password as soon as you believe an account has been compromised.
Strong passwords are lengthy (the longer, the better) and use a combination of characters (in upper- and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. You can include these elements in your passwords so you won’t have to memorize long sequences of random letters, numbers, and symbols. Just a few tricks will do!
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Katie Pierce is a teacher and freelance writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s adults sitting in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she gets up to do it all again the next morning.