Passwords, it seems like we all have too many to track. They are required for credit card accounts, social media accounts, work, and the list goes on. Passwords prevail all and despite their importance, some of us still fail to create strong enough passwords. You may have tried using the same password for everything, until you came across a site that has password requirements. Thus, eliminating any chance to have an easy to remember and universal password for everything. If you have fallen into this bad habit, it will eventually lead to easily targeted and unchallenging password for hackers.
As we progress through the digital age, we are becoming more dependent on technology and its integrity. Our personal and professional lives are stored into digital clouds that we have been taught to trust. However, if cybersecurity wasn’t already challenging enough, phishing hackers have been leveling up, making it nearly impossible to keep your information secure. These skilled hackers are the reason for human error, leading to data breaches. Now, we must go back to the basics. We have put together a guide for you to follow the next time you must think of a strong password on the fly.
DON’T use the same password for numerous accounts.
Don’t search for that perfect ‘one size fits all’ password to use for every account. Doing so will only make it easier for hackers to access all your accounts at once.
DON’T include your favourite sport or hobby.
For all of you football fans out there who have set a password to ‘Football’, consider changing your passwords to something a bit more discrete. Passwords like the one used in the example above, are ranked in the top worst passwords according to SecureWorld.
DON’T share your password with anyone.
Yes, even your significant other. Keep it confidential for the sake of your privacy.
DON’T include Sequences
Avoid including alphabetical or numerical sequences such as “ABC” or “123. These can be very predictable.
DON’T turn security questions into password hints
Phishing attempts are only getting better and harder to detect because hackers are levelling up. Some have created online quizzes written in a way that have given hackers the necessary information to your security questions. This can be avoided by choosing a wrong answer to the questions, rather than choosing the right answer. For example, If the security question is “What was the name of your childhood dog”, answer with the name of the dog from your favourite childhood tv show.
Update passwords often.
Mix it up! Updating your password often is one way that you can stay one step ahead of the attackers.
Avoid storing passwords on easily accessible devices.
Don’t leave your passwords laying around! Try creating passwords that are easy to remember or store them somewhere that you know they will be secure. Another option being, a password manager extension. According to Cloudwards, LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, Keeper, RoboForm were the top 5 password manager extensions in 2020.
Try using a line from your favourite song and select the first letter of each word.
Here’s a good example using Hotel California by the Eagles. “Welcome to the Hotel California, such a lovely place, such a lovely face” could create the password: WttHCsalp!salf!
Use special characters and punctuation marks
Do adding special characters really help keep passwords secure? Of course, they do! By adding randomized special characters, you’re only creating more combinations to pick from! i.e. “WttHCsalp!salf!9327” has many more combination options for a hacker to guess than the example provided previously.
Creating an unflawed password is impossible but monitoring them shouldn’t be. With Microtechs SOCaaS, we mitigate risk by providing 24/7 monitoring and breach detection, making your information secure and safe. Schedule a demo with us to learn about how Microtechs SOC-as-a-Service can protect you.