How To Create a Strong Password and Password Mistakes To Avoid

Sometimes it feels like in order to log on to a website, you need to have a 100-character password, submit genetic testing and rub your belly and head at the same time. The truth is, passwords are a pain, but they’re good for you. Privacy should always be top of mind.

Did you know that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month? Nowadays, there is a celebratory month for everything, but cybersecurity is so important and shouldn’t be limited to just one month. So here are tips to help you stay safe online all year round.

4 Common Password Mistakes People Make

Let’s start off with the biggest password mistakes people make:

  1. Not password protecting your mobile device: Believe it or not, 52% of people are guilty of this. When setting your device password, it’s smart to avoid common choices like 1234, 000 or 5683, which spells out love.
  2. Remembering passwords on a device: Never use the save or remember me options on a public computer. The next user could easily access your account.
  3. Recycling passwords: We all hate resetting our passwords every three months. Just as you start to remember your password by heart, you end up having to reset it again. But hey, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, make sure not to recycle the same password.
  4. Being too familiar: Avoid using dates, names of loved ones or any other information that can be easily found through online research or a Google search.

While these may seem simple, some of us need a reminder if we don’t have our IT team to give us a nudge.

How To Create Strong Passwords

Did you know that “123456” is the most common password? According to the National Cybersecurity Center, it tops the list of the most common passwords in the U.S. It’s hard to believe, but it’s the reality. Passwords are an integral part of proper account security.

Creating strong, complex and secure passwords can be the best line of defense in protecting your information from being compromised. Here are four best practices:

  1. Enhance password complexity: A good rule to follow when constructing your passwords is to ensure that even someone who knows you well wouldn't be able to guess your password in 20 attempts. Using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, non-sequential numbers and special characters creates a greater challenge for anyone attempting to crack it.
  2. Extend password length: Even if the password requirement is limited to six to nine characters, expanding it to 12, 16 or more can provide a stronger and more secure password to better protect your accounts.
  3. Update passwords regularly: Whether it's every 60 or 90 days, passwords should be changed on a regular basis. Password managers, like BitWarden or 1Password, can help you secure all of your account passwords in one place. Then, all you need to remember is one main password to access your password manager. This can help you better secure all of your password information for each account you have.
  4. Implement multi-factor authentication: This method requires at least two different verification methods to prove your identity before you can be granted access to a website, adding an additional layer of protection for your data.

By following these best practices and avoiding common password mistakes, you can significantly enhance the security of your personal information and reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Remember, the first line of defense in cybersecurity starts with you.

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Tags : Cybersecurity