In the digital age, the first line of defense to your data is your user ID and password. The user ID is almost always your email address, which is easy to find out. The password, though, is where the real security comes in. Below is a list of essential steps to creating secure passwords.
The Longer, The Better
Most websites recommend a mix of characters and at least eight characters long. However, the password length is more important than the number of special characters. With that being said, the more creative the password, the better. As a password gets longer, it is harder for hackers to brute or guess your password.
Spread Out The Special Characters
When using special characters, spread them throughout the password. Most people will add them at the end of the password, so bad guys expect that. It is common for people to use the ‘!’ at the end of a common password. By moving the characters throughout your password, it will make it harder to guess and harder to crack.
Use a password manager to keep your passwords safe and secure. Most password managers will create unique and secure passwords for you. This is beneficial because if one password gets cracked, the bad guys won’t have access to all your other accounts. Several managers will work on computers and mobile devices, so you are never without them. Another benefit to a password manager is you will only have to remember one strong master password instead of several.
It can be annoying, and even tedious when signing, but two-step authentications (2FA) is one of the best ways to lock your account down. The beauty of 2FA is that even if your password is compromised when the bad guy signs in, they will need a one-time code that is sent to your phone. Without it, they will not be able to access the account. In addition, if you get a text with a code and you’re not signing into an account, you know you should probably change the password!
Browsers Don’t Cut It
If you use Chrome when signing into your account, you probably saw a popup asking if you want to save the account information. Browser password managers are a convenient method for remembering your passwords. However, the security methods of these built-in managers are undocumented and don’t always require a master password. Chrome may require the login password to the computer your one, but if the bad guy has access to your Gmail email, then they can log in from their equipment.
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