Password Management

Did you know the average person has 25 internet accounts to maintain? Despite the large number of accounts, we only use an average of six different passwords to protect them, according to a Microsoft study.

With identity theft and data breaches an ever-growing problem, it’s important to not only have a different password for each account, but to make those passwords easy to remember and hard to guess.

Here are  7 tips to help you to keep your passwords secure and prevent a data breach:

  1. Change your password every 90 days. This might seem like a hassle at first, but hackers have a better chance at cracking your passwords if they never change. Also, don’t reuse passwords.
  2. Passwords should be at least eight characters long. Generally, the longer a password is, the harder it is to guess.
  3. Don’t use the same password for each account. Hackers target lower security websites and then test cracked passwords on higher security sites. Make sure each account has a different password.
  4. Passwords should include uppercase letters and special characters. Special characters include symbols like “#,” “*,” “+” and “>.” Get creative!
  5. Don’t use names of spouses, kids, pets, etc. All it takes for a hacker to crack passwords that include these things is a little research on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  6. Don’t use passwords that include bank account numbers, credit card numbers or birthdays. Not only could hackers use these passwords to gain unauthorized access to your system, they could use these to empty your bank accounts or charge thousands of pounds to your credit cards. Think about numeric passcodes, such as on your mobile device. Are you using the same code as your bank card, or a memorable birthday? If so, don’t !
  7. Passwords should be easy to remember but hard to guess. Think of an important event that has happened in your life and make a sentence out of it. Then, remove the spaces, turn a word or two into shorthand or intentionally misspell a word, and add significant numbers if there are none in the sentence. For example, if you adopted two red balloons, you might end up with “2redball00ns.”

Use four random words to create a strong password
A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use four random words. Numbers and symbols can still be used if needed, for example a 25 character password could be 3redLondonhousemonkeys25!

Be creative and use words memorable to you, so that people can’t guess your password. Have  a look around your desk at home, or at work. What can you see that can be used in a password? Looking at the image below, how about 18Redgrandfidget!cows (Desktop photo  from 2018, Red keyboard, Grand on the coffee cup, Fidget spinner on the desk, Cuddly Cow on the desk)

Cyber criminals are very smart and know many of the simple substitutions we use such as ‘Pa55word!” which utilises symbols to replace letters. Running a password cracker passwords like this are broken within the first 5 minutes of the test commencing.

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  • 2quickly| 25th January 2023