TIPS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR PASSWORDS:Password is a secret word or expression used by authorized persons to prove their right to access, information, etc. a word or other string of characters, sometimes kept secret or confidential, that must be supplied by a user in order to gain full or partial access to a computer, computer system, or electronic device.
A password is a secret word or phrase that you must know in order to be allowed to enter a place such as a military base, or to be allowed to use a computer system.
An example of a strong password is “Kilendi-#-22-Kongwa-District”. It is long, contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It is a unique password created by a random password generator, and it is easy to remember. Strong passwords should not contain personal information.
best practices to create strong passwords and keep your business accounts secure
You’ll need to create a password to do just about everything on the Web, from checking your email to online banking. And while it’s simpler to use a short, easy-to-remember password, this can also pose serious risks to your online security. To protect yourself and your information, you’ll want to use passwords that are long, strong, and difficult for someone else to guess while still keeping them relatively easy for you to remember.
Why do I need a strong password?
At this point, you may be wondering, why do I even need a strong password anyway? The truth is that even though most websites are secure, there’s always a small chance someone may try to access or steal your information. This is commonly known as hacking. A strong password is one of the best ways to defend your accounts and private information from hackers.
- Create long, complex, and unique passwords
It’s no surprise that people often create short, simple passwords; they’re just easier to remember. Unfortunately, they’re also a cinch to crack.
Hackers can crack a simple and commonly used password such as “password123” in approximately .29 milliseconds. An account with a password like that might as well not even have one. In contrast, a long, unique, and complex password such as “DOfi8!ryODoyEsNe8b” would take about 1 trillion years to crack. No one’s got that much time to spare, so your account is much safer.
A strong password has a minimum of 16 characters and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It also has to be unique. Without the unique factor, it’s entirely possible to have a terrible password that follows all of these guidelines (e.g., Iloveyou1234567!).
If you combine a solid password with smart cybersecurity practices such as keeping your devices updated, you can rest easy knowing your accounts are about as safe as they can get.
- Sentences or phrases are better than single words
It’s quick and easy for single-word passwords to be compromised. Never make your password a single word, even if it’s “disenfranchisement” or something similarly long. Hackers can use dictionary attacks to crack this using software that tries all the words in a dictionary or other word list successively until it finds a match.
- 3. Don’t include personal information in your passwords
The amount of personal information that’s readily available on social media and other public websites is staggering. It’s no trouble for a hacker to find out your full name, date of birth, partner’s name, pet’s name, etc. This type of information should never be used in your passwords.
- Use two-factor authentication to render stolen passwords useless
Two-factor authentication is a method of account verification that requires a password and a second piece of information to complete your login. The second factor is often a PIN, a security code sent to a mobile device, or security questions. For more advanced 2FA, the second factor could include biometrics such as voice or facial recognition.
Two-factor authentication provides an added level of security for your accounts, and it should be used with any business accounts that offer it. Some users find 2FA frustrating because it adds additional time to the login process; however, this extra step takes less than a handful of seconds. The reward is well worth it as 2FA seriously ups the security level of your accounts by rendering stolen passwords useless.
Because some employees find the extra step of two-factor authentication frustrating, they may opt not to use it on their business accounts despite company policy. Pcteki addresses this issue with our Advanced, Data Room, and Unlimited plans. Administrators can require two-factor authentication across the entire account to ensure secure, stress-free cloud storage and file sharing.
5. Encrypt stored passwords
One drawback of having unique and complex passwords is that they’re difficult to remember. If you’ve created a document to track your passwords, make sure it’s encrypted. Encryption makes your text unreadable to unauthorized people who don’t have the decryption key.
The type of encryption you use matters, too. For example, Pcteki uses 256-bit encryption to protect data both in transit and at rest. This is the same level of encryption used by banks and the CIA. Cracking it would take approximately 27 vigintillion years, which is longer than our universe has even existed.
- Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts
You’re probably tired of hearing this, but 51% of people keep doing it, so it bears repeating — do not reuse passwords. None of your accounts, personal or professional, should ever share a password. If your password is stolen or hacked, you can minimize the damage by keeping the breach to one account.
Common password mistakes
Some of the most commonly used passwords are based on family names, hobbies, or just a simple pattern. While these types of passwords are easy to remember, they’re also some of the least secure. Let’s take a look at some of the most common password mistakes and how to fix them.
“I doubt anyone could guess my password! It’s my kids’ names and ages. Who else would know that?”
Problem: This password uses too much personal information, along with common words that could be found in the dictionary.
Solution: A stronger version of this password would use symbols, uppercase letters, and a more random order. And rather than using family names, we could combine a character from a movie with a type of food. For example, Chewbacca and pizza could become chEwbAccAp!ZZa.
“My password is so simple! It’s just the beginning of my street address with a few extra characters.”
Problem: At only five characters, this password is way too short. It also includes part of her address, which is publicly available information.
Solution: A stronger version of this password would be much longer, ideally more than 10 characters. We could also substitute a nearby street name instead of her current address. For example, Pemberly Ave could become p3MberLY%Av.