Keeping your online accounts safe is critical for protecting your internet privacy. Online accounts contain lots of personal information that hackers can exploit in many ways.
One of the key elements of having a secured account is setting a strong password. Passwords are the first line of defense and can make all the difference when someone is trying to breach your account.
Read on to discover six tips for creating strong passwords to significantly bolster the security of your online accounts.
Make longer passwords (over 12 characters)
Longer passwords take significantly longer to crack. The reason is simple: a hacker has to fill out more characters, making it less likely to get all of them right. Longer passwords containing a combination of random words will be nearly impossible to guess.
Eight characters is a good start, but ideally, you should aim for at least twelve to maximize your account security. Some companies even deploy a passphrase of at least 20 characters policy for employees. A passphrase is a combination of 3-4 random words that are easy to memorize but hard to guess.
Include numbers and special characters
Most online services have guidelines for creating passwords on their platform. Adding numbers is one of the top requirements. Some sites go beyond and ask you to also include special characters.
But it shouldn’t matter to you if a platform has these requirements or not. For your safety, include numbers and special characters anyway. This will make it almost impossible for a brute-force attack to work.
Just like words, numbers should also be completely random so that a hacker can’t guess a number based on your personal information. For example, many people add their birth year at the end of their password, which is easily obtainable information.
Have a different password for every account
You’d be surprised to learn how many people use the same password for all of their accounts. This is one of the worst things you can do, as a single breach can lead to damage and data exposure from all accounts you have.
Hackers are smart, and checking the cracked passwords on other platforms is one of the first things they’ll do in their goal to extract as much information as possible.
Make it difficult for them by creating a different password for every account.
Write your passwords down
If you’re going to create long and hard-to-guess passwords for each account you have, it’s inevitable you’ll forget some. In the internet era, people forget that pen and paper still exist and are much safer than having a copy of your passwords in your notes app.
Don’t be afraid to write down your passwords in case you forget them. Keep the note well hidden but easily accessible, so you don’t forget about its existence.
Use a password manager to do everything automatically
If you want to streamline the process of protecting your accounts, there’s no better tool than a password manager. A password manager will do everything we’ve discussed so far with just a few clicks.
First, it can generate a long and strong password with random characters. It can then safely store your passwords online, where only you can access them. Writing down your passwords will no longer be necessary.
Don’t solely rely on passwords for account security
As important as passwords are, they’re never enough for the complete protection of your online accounts. You need to enable additional security features to ensure you don’t get hacked. Different platforms will have varying security features, but one thing most share is two-factor authentication (2FA).
2FA is a login security measure that asks you to provide one more piece of information aside from your password. It’s usually a randomly generated code delivered as an email, text message, or through an authentication app.
With 2FA, even if a hacker finds out your password, they’ll have no way to bypass the additional security measure and access your account.
Strong passwords are essential but not sufficient for complete account security. The key to creating strong passwords is to make them long and completely random. Throw in some numbers and special characters to make them even more challenging to crack. Finally, top off your password game with 2FA to make your accounts nearly unhackable.