Online security is getting more important every day as technology continues to incorporate itself into our daily and work lives. With all of this new technology, you have to know how to protect it because it means protecting yourself in the process. Aside from the obvious tips like “don’t click the link from the email you don’t know” and “don’t click the popup ad” there is really one main focus when it comes to security online. That focus is your password. Having a secure password is the first step in safety online, and the quality of your password is the difference between safety and vulnerability.
So how do you make sure your password is safe and secure? If your password checks all the boxes here, you’re doing great.
The old thing to do with your passwords is make them something super obvious with some numbers. A simple name with some numbers that were meaningful to you was easy to remember, but it was also easy to crack. Hackers are really smart, so some simple research can easily find your dog’s name and your birthday….. Sound familiar? Yikes. The best piece of advice is to avoid these easy to guess passwords like the plague.
Special Characters are an important part of any secure password. When it comes to safety on the internet, make sure You’re using special characters in a mixture of letters and numbers. Not really sure what that should look like? Well something like this? (please don’t use this……)
Seriously, this is what a solid password looks like, and depending on what you’re doing, this might not even be secure enough. Moral of the story is to use special characters and mix it up. Just make sure you can remember it, or write it down on a piece of paper and hide it… Make sure it’s safe.
Long passwords are harder to crack. As you increase the length of your passwords, you increase the variables a person or machine has to get right before they can crack your account. So let’s do some math really quickly, and please stay with me this will be quick. Remember back to grade school when you learned x to the power of 2. You’re basically doing that, but the number increases as you increase the length of your password. This is why most places require you to have 8 characters in your password. So, let’s say there are 95 characters possible for use in your password, how many possible combinations do you have? 95^8 = 6.6342043e+15. The number of password combinations exponentially larger as you add characters. So longer passwords are generally safer.
Using the same password everywhere isn’t the best idea. Your goal should be to diversify your passwords and use unique passwords for each platform. Using different passwords for different accounts is safer because one getting compromised won’t put all the other accounts in jeopardy. Since they all have different passwords, they are all going to be a unique combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Now one headache doesn’t become 20.
Say you want to use all those different passwords, but know there is no way you will remember them, you want a password management system. These awesome tools store your passwords and when you sign up for new services or softwares, it uses a strong random password generator to help you make secure passwords. These handy tools are stored desktop side or in the cloud and can auto fill sign-ins for you, so you don’t have to worry about remembering all the passwords. Instead, you just have to really worry about the one you used for it. If you need it for business, you can even add coworkers to the platform so they have access to tools and software. These management tools are a lifesaver when it comes to cybersecurity.
Staying safe online really starts with your passwords. Their importance is second to none for cybersecurity, so you have to make sure they are up to snuff. Get your passwords in line, and your online safety will increase 10 fold.
So, after reading this, do you still think your passwords are secure enough? If not, it’s time to change your passwords.