It is only natural that we have an unbreakable password to safeguard sensitive information as most of the data are now stored online. In the near future, we will be using not just passwords to keep our personal information.
“As organizations try to find ways to thwart breaches and protect their end users, the good news is that we’re starting to see alternatives to the old system, including two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires not only something the real owner would know – for example, a password – but also something that they, and only they have – say, their mobile phone,” says Symantec’s Information Security Head Laurence Pitt.
Some online services have started using the two-step verification. We can see them being implemented on online banking, for instance.
However, for the moment most of us are using just one password. So, it is important that we decide the right password that hackers cannot crack.
Passwords you should avoid
Never use anything that contains personal info for passwords. You may think that your password is private, but the amount of info available online is huge and hackers can take a successful guess. Even the hints on your social media pages are a threat as hackers could guess your passwords.
For example, if you declare on your Twitter bio that you are a Barcelona FC fan, there are good chances that your password could be one of the team’s best players. It will not be long before a hacker comes up with random passwords that might finally unlock your account.
Common passwords to be avoided:
- Your name/name’s of family members.
- Pet’s name.
- Famous historical dates.
- Birth place.
- Anything like ‘password’, ‘000000’ or ‘123456’.
If you use any of the mentioned passwords, immediately change them.
How to create a stronger password?
Creating a strong password can be a tiring experience, particularly if the website you’re using keeps telling you that the password you’ve created is not strong enough. Ideally, your password should have mixed characters to make it more secure.
To create stronger password, include as many points given below as possible:
- Mix upper case and lower case letters.
- Include at least one numeric.
- Add a symbol (like @ or %).
- Add at least three words that are joined together.
- Use acronym – use a phrase you are familiar with, maybe a line from a book or a song.
- The longer your password, the better and hackers will have hard time trying to guess it.
Do you need to use a different password for every account?
Yes. It may sound like a lot of hard work, but it’s very important to never use just one password for all your accounts. If hackers ever get to crack your password, then you are really going to be in real trouble.
Change every default password
You should always change your default passwords. You can start with your emails and then other devices. If a hacker gets that password, chances are high that they would have gone through all your emails. You also need to change the passwords of baby cams and CCTV cameras soon after buying from the vendor.
Once you have changed your email password, prepare a full list of your password-protected services so that you can easily update them. Some of these crucial passwords may be those of online banking, e-stores like Amazon, Spotify and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
How to remember all your passwords?
If you think that your passwords are extremely hard for you to remember at all, you can use software to securely store all of them in one place. The drawback is that you will still need another strong password and this will unlock everything about your personal details.
Another way of doing it is by creating a picture in your head with some objects or maybe hints that will relate to every password and the service or business.
Remember, if you are one of those writing down passwords with pen and paper, you must make sure that you keep it well hidden. Also, never write down the full passwords. Mention just a few letters or hints that will refresh your memory.