Online passwords can be a real pain, which is why so many of us choose easy-to-remember passwords for all of the sites we visit. By doing this, you could be putting your identity at risk.
Guessing a password is a lot easier than you might think, and most of us aren’t equipped with the right knowledge to make sure our passwords are secure.
That’s what this article is all about! Here’s how to create the perfect password.
What NOT to do
- Stop picking obvious passwords – There are some pretty bad passwords out there, and yet people continue to use them because they are so easy to remember. ‘Password’ and ‘123456’ are classics, but qwerty is popular, and admin is still used for business purposes way more than you could ever imagine. If you’re serious about your security, stop picking obvious passwords!
- Stop continuing to stay logged on – Okay, so maybe you’ve chosen a more complex password, which means you probably won’t remember it. This leads people to stay logged on, even when they aren’t currently accessing the site. Unfortunately, this makes your information much easier for a hacker or identity thief to obtain.
- Stop reusing your passwords – We’re all guilty of this one, and how could we not be? Every website requires its own password! But, the truth is, if you’re reusing passwords, you’re putting all of your most important information in danger. Instead of just getting into one of your accounts, a thief has access to many of your accounts when they share the same password.
What TO do
- Use acronyms – Random arrangements of letters are much harder to crack than readable passwords, but that doesn’t mean you have to remember a random string of letters. Instead, create an acronym from a sentence that’s easy for you to remember. Even a meaningful quote can be turned into an acronym.
- Create longer passwords – There are literally 645 trillion combinations for an 8 letter password, but that number balloons to an impressive 3 quintillion combinations for a 10 letter password. That’s a lot of additional protection for just 2 more characters!
- Get creative with numbers and symbols – Another easy way to throw identity thieves off your trail without compromising your ability to remember your passwords is to get creative with numbers and symbols. For example, an ‘E’ can easily be changed into a ‘3,’ effectively placing a number in the middle of your password, which is a lot harder to guess. Symbols are a great addition to any password too. Choose symbols like ‘$’ and ‘*,’ if the website allows them.
Still finding it difficult to remember all those passwords? Consider creating a hard copy with a list of all your usernames and passwords. You can also store this list on your computer, as long as it is protected. There are even programs that help you keep your passwords organized!
Don’t make it easy for an identity thief just because you’re lazy. Creating a stellar password is a lot easier than you think!