It seems like every day a website is being hacked and accounts are being compromised. How do we keep ourselves safe? Below are 9 ways you can keep your passwords secure
- Make strong passwords
Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. Make sure your password is at least 8 characters long. The longer the password the more secure it will be.
- Don’t use common phrases or personal information
Personal information such as names, telephone numbers, birthdays can be easily guessed. Similarly common passwords like “123456” or “qwerty” “password” are easy to guess.
- Don’t use words in the dictionary
Words or combination of words while easy to remember are equally easy to crack. Avoid using words that are in the English dictionary.
- Use different passwords for every website
It may seem like a huge inconvenience but having different passwords for different sites will protect all your accounts from being compromised if one site has been hacked.
- Change your Passwords often
Change your passwords every six months at the minimum. The longer and complex your password, the longer it will take to crack. Changing your password regularly reduces the chances of it being cracked.
- Use Two Step Authentication
Lately, most websites offer two step authentication. You sign in with your password and a numeric code sent via text or email. This way even if your password is compromised the hacker can’t access your account.
- Use an Anti-Virus program
An antivirus program keeps your computer safe from viruses and malware from accessing your personal information and logging your passwords
- Do not write down your passwords.
Do not keep your passwords anywhere near the computer (post-its, inside drawers etc.) This way anyone with physical access to your computer won’t have access to your accounts.
- Use a password Manager
Password Managers such as Last Pass, Dashlane, 1Password are an essential tool to keep your passwords safe. All your passwords are stored securely, many services even prompt you to change your password if it’s too weak or too old. All you need to remember is a single password.
In an age where all our sensitive and private information is stored online, it is important to ensure we do everything in our power to keep our information and accounts secure.