How to Create a Better, More Secure Password

Password Protection shutterstock_775022266.jpgHow many accounts do you have that require a password? There might be your computer login and social media sites, email, and streaming services to binge watch all your favorite shows (Stranger Things, anyone?) just to name a few. According to one report, more than half of adult internet users admit they use the same password for multiple websites. [1] While doing so is convenient and makes passwords easier to remember, it may also make you more susceptible to hacking.

Creating a strong password is one of the first lines of defense against intruders or being hacked. It helps protect your accounts and keeps your personal information safe. Here are a few best practice tips to keep in mind.

When deciding on a password, use a combination of numbers, symbols, capital letters and lower case letters, and at least 8 characters or more. For many accounts, these are often requirements. Avoid using personal information, such as your name, birthday or favorite sports team. It’s also recommended to avoid using common words or phrases, such as “password”, as well as keyboard patterns, such as “123456” or “qwerty”. Make your password easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. For example, consider turning a sentence familiar to you into a password. “I Am Excited to Turn 30” could be “ia:)2T30!”.

Once you create a strong password, it’s equally important to take precautions in keeping it safe.Never give out your password to anyone”, says ConnectSafely, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security. Also, avoid posting your password in plain sight, such as a sticky note on your monitor or desk. [2] Instead, if you have trouble remembering all your passwords, consider using a trusted password manager to keep your passwords secure.

Google Account Help also advises to be prepared if you forget your password by adding a recovery option, such as including a backup phone number or email address. According to the article, “A recovery option helps you reset your password if you forget your password, think someone else is using your account, or you can’t sign in for another reason”. [3]

The best password is one that makes sense to you and is challenging for others to figure out!

 

 [1] https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2013/uk-adults-taking-online-password-security-risks

[2] http://www.connectsafely.org/tips-to-create-and-manage-strong-passwords/

[3] https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32040?hl=en

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