How to Create and Manage Secure Passwords
Having a secure password is an easy step everyone can take in order to protect themselves from identity theft, fraud, or other online dangers. With technology evolving, simple one-word passwords aren’t going to be able to protect your information anymore. Some of your most important data and information is stored online, so it is essential to ensure that it is protected. Here are some tips to help you create and manage secure passwords.
The first step to making your password more secure is to understand how hackers can guess your passwords. When most people imagine someone trying to hack into their Facebook or bank account, they imagine someone sitting a computer typing in different passwords. However, the reality is that hackers use complex software that can use algorithms to make random guesses until they guess your password. These programs can make guesses at a very high rate and the more complex your password is, the harder it will be for the software to guess. Here are some basics to help you create a strong and complex password:
- Minimum of 12 characters
- Combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols
- Don’t include your birthday or another easily guessable date/year
- Don’t use numbers or letters in chronological order (i.e. 123, ABC or even QWERTY)
- Avoid repetition of numbers and letters
Test your password.
After you have created a password, you can test it on How Secure Is My Password. Once you enter your password, it will tell you how quickly a computer would be able to guess your password…anywhere from instantly to 10 quattuordecillion years! They will provide pointers to help you make your password even more secure. LastPass also has a great password tester.
Don’t reuse passwords.
Even though it can be tempting, don’t use the same password for every website. It’s best to create a unique password for every single website. If a hacker figures out your password to one website, you don’t want them to be able to hack into your entire life, from your social media accounts to your email to your bank account.
Use a password manager.
It can be difficult or nearly impossible to remember a unique password for every single website. But this is where a password manager comes in! When you use a password manager, you only have to remember one password. Once you save your passwords within your password manager, it will autofill every time you need to log in! You can also view and organize all your passwords within the password manager website or app. Most password managers also have an app for your mobile device or tablet, so no matter where you are, you will never be without your passwords! When you need to create a new password for an account, it will generate a unique and complex password that you can customize. Some of our favorite password managers are LastPass and 1Password.