Passwords represent one of the most important and most misused forms of security. I say these passwords are misused because even in a world where everyone is concerned about cyber security and getting hacked, people still create weak, easy-to-crack passwords. Below are some common concepts to consider when creating passwords.
The longer a password is, the harder it is to crack. Many security professionals recommend 16 unrepeated characters.
Symbols Numbers, and Letters
While it’s true that complex passwords are difficult to guess, they’re also difficult to remember. Avoid complicating your passwords with random characters unless required.
A password manager can generate, save, and sync passwords across multiple devices. It’s a handy application that removes the hassle of having to remember all of your login credentials, and prevents bad habits like writing passwords down a or storing them in unsecure documents.
While tedious, it’s smart to occasionally update passwords, especially if you fear an account has been compromised due to a data breach of if you notice unusual activity.
Milti-factor authentication or MFA, requires you to enter a secondary code-often sent via text messages or an authenticator app-before accessing an account. Enable it wherever it’s available.
Every account should have a unique password. Otherwise, if your credentials get stolen due to a data breach for example, someone could use them to gain access to any accounts that also use those credentials.
A passphrase, such as a quote or phrase will make it easier to remember but hard for others to guess. When creating a passphrase, avoid commonly used phrases such as letmein or thisismypassword and personal information like the name of your pet.
Most organizations have rules about how to create passwords, when to change them and where to store them. It’s your job to understand those rules and to always follow organizational password policies.