If your password is your birthday, pet name, or even worse, qwerty, you need a complete password overhaul to tighten your security and protect your data. Whether you are a small business owner or an individual, you should take password security seriously. A strong password is crucial for your cybersecurity, and it prevents unauthorized access to your devices and data.
Luckily, we have tips to help you create solid, impenetrable passwords that are difficult to crack in the case of sophisticated bruce force attacks.
- Password length. Generally, longer passwords are much harder to crack than short ones. Use this knowledge to your advantage when creating your passwords. A good password should be a minimum of 12 characters, with uppercase and lowercase letters, and have some random numbers and special symbols to add to its complexity.
- Use a Password Manager. If you are creating multiple passwords for different accounts, coming up with new ideas every time can be a bit of a hassle. A password manager will help alleviate the stress of creating new ones. Plus, it tracks and keeps all of them safe and stored in one place for easy retrieval.
- Create unique passwords for every account. Using the same password for all your website or applications is a huge security risk. If a cyber attacker cracks it and gains entry into one account, they can access all your data, which is catastrophic. Mixing them up is a good practice to prevent yourself from such breaches.
- Implement two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is a security protocol that adds a second layer of security to your accounts. It requires you to follow a two-login process to access your account, making the cracking process much more difficult.
- Use breach lists to your advantage. The internet is full of resources about best password practices and common passwords to avoid. Use these breach lists to tighten your password security by ensuring that you do not use compromised passwords on your accounts.
- Avoid storing passwords on your browser. While storing passwords on your browser might be easy and convenient, it is a faux pas in password best practices. Your browser exposes you to security risks that could compromise your account. Plus, passwords stored on a browser are not encrypted, making them fair game for a hacker who gains access to your browser. If you have to manage your passwords from one place, a password manager is the best bet.
- Use the Schneier method. If you need to create complex and memorable passwords, you can adopt the Schneier method. It involves using sentences or phrases and changing the words within to be represented by shorter characters or symbols. For example, turn “This little piggy went to market” into a password like “tlpWENT2m”. Ensure that the statement you choose is memorable enough for you not to forget. The more random and strange your series of characters are, the better.
When all is said and done, the best tip is ensure you follow all the best password practices regularly. Compromising on some of these tips will lead to a slippery slope that will expose you to security risks and threats.