We hate to tell you that your password security practices have been evaluated and found wanting. Don’t give us that look—you know it’s true deep in your vastly unsecured inner thoughts. It seems like we hear about another major security breach almost every day. If you are not affected yet, you’re either highly fortunate or negligent in terms of security and aren’t aware of it. Data breaches and identity theft are on the rise, and the root cause is frequently weak passwords.
After stealing credentials, cybercriminals can use passwords to launch disinformation campaigns against companies, make purchases using people’s payment information, and spy on users via WiFi-connected security cameras. Password security is becoming increasingly important, and we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you protect your accounts from future hackers.
Why Is Password Security Crucial?
If someone steals your Netflix password, Netflix doesn’t care, and you probably don’t unless you have a carefully curated algorithm. So, why should you be concerned with password security? Consider something other than your binge-watching habits for a moment.
A simple program run overnight gave one hacker access to an admin Twitter account and the ability to change every user’s password. The hacker then reset and distributed passwords to other hackers for popular accounts managed by Barack Obama, Britney Spears, and Fox News.
How to Make a Strong Password
Let’s start with the fundamentals.
Could you not make it overly simple? Or brevity. (Take a look at yourself, 1-2-3-4 people.)
Use a different password for each site.
Don’t write down your passwords.
Don’t be a slacker: case sensitivity is your friend, so use a variety of characters.
Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals let’s move on to today’s password tips and best practices.
Use a Secure Password Manager.
Using a password manager is one of the best ways to secure your online accounts. If you don’t already have one, Digital Trends has put together a great list of the best managers to use. Most secure password managers also include password security checker tools, allowing you to double-check that you’re on the right track regarding password security.
Use an Untrustworthy Online Password Generator
Use an old website that claims to be a secure password generator at your own risk. You have no idea how secure the site is, whether it stores your passwords, whether the passwords are truly random, or whether they are outright pwning you.
Use multiple passwords rather than a single password.
Blockchain wallets get it right: instead of a traditional password, they use a string of several randomized words. However, using a common phrase is no different than using a dictionary. Can’t think of anything? Allow your safe password manager to generate some for you.
Use a different password for different website or account.
Is it too difficult to remember? That’s precisely the point. To keep track of them all, use a password manager. Because if one site’s password is compromised, any site that uses the same password is compromised.