Let’s get real for a second. When you’re in the process of creating an online account, you’re usually in a hurry to get to the actual site. You aren’t all that worried about how strong your password is or if you can even remember it later. You just want to finish your online order, to start browsing, or to finish an activity. This account setup is “interrupting” you and you’re feeling very spiteful. This is where everything starts to go downhill for security.
When you create a weak password, you unknowingly create a major vulnerability. What’s a vulnerability? It’s a hole into your online life and gives hackers a golden opportunity to tear down your financial life and personal identity. Because of this, you should always keep your passwords as impenetrable as possible.
Below are five tips to help you keep your passwords as secure as possible.
For your own security, do not save.
Many computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones ask if you want a website to remember your login credentials for you. Do not ever do this. Ever. (Legit password managers not included, such as LastPass or Dashlane.) If someone gains physical access to your device (which is considerably easier than hacking it), they have full reign over your digital life. Sure, it’s easier to just have your laptop remember this annoying stuff for you, but you’re basically rewarding a hacker when they get a hold of your computer with all your remembered passwords and autofills. They don’t have to do anything to get access to all your personal and financial information.
What’s in a name?
Security is all in the password. Stay away from names and all nouns in general. Children, pets, spouses, friends—don’t do it. Even if a potential hacker hasn’t taken a dive into your Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, it’s only a matter of time before someone out there cracks your Bond007, Jordan23 or Cowboys456.
One and done.
Never use the same password more than once. Using Bond007 for your Facebook, banking account, and email is the worst idea. Whoever just cracked your Facebook login now has your financial information and access to all your conversations, purchases, registrations and anything else they want. Not really worth the cool factor of using Bond007 for everything anymore, eh? Security does matter.
Spice it up!
We have the noun thing squared away, right? But what about the creation of the password itself? Phrases are generally found to be useful because they are easier to remember but more difficult to crack. Just keep in mind, make it absurdly hard to read. For example, horribly misspell it and incorrectly capitalize it. For instance: “This blog is great!” can be changed to: “diiiS!!blahG..iZgr8!” According to How Secure is My Password, it would take a computer about 4 sextillion years to crack that password. Bravo! Now that is a password security!
LastPass and Dashlane are great options.
So how do you remember all these unique passwords that are hard to remember and that you’re never allowed to save anywhere? Type them all out on a nicely formatted spreadsheet in Excel? Sorry, but heck no. Once again, if someone installs malware on your device or gains physical access to your computer, your spreadsheet is only one click away.
Password storage sites like LastPass and Dashlane are stellar alternatives to handwriting your complicated passwords and locking them in your safe. And if you’re concerned about having all your passwords stored in one site, don’t fear. Because these two sites are security-based, your passwords are the safest they will ever be. Thanks to cybersecurity measures like salt hashing, even if a criminal got a hold of your passwords from LastPass or Dashlane, they would be encrypted in such a way that they would be absolutely useless. So rest assured, if you choose to use a legitimate password storage platform, your information is safe.
Want to speak with a professional security consultant? Reach out to TLC Tech.