In today’s digital world, the importance of creating a strong and well-secured password cannot be overemphasised.
Your online accounts house a treasure trove of personal information. A weak password can leave you vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches.
To help you safeguard your digital identity, we’ll explore the steps for creating a well-secured password.
1. Length Matters
One of the fundamental aspects of a secure password is its length. Aim for a password that is at least 12-16 characters long. Longer passwords are generally more secure because they are harder for hackers to guess or crack.
2. Use a Mix of Characters
A strong password should be a mix of various characters, including both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers (from 0 to 9), and special characters like @, #, $, %, etc. The more diverse your characters, the more resilient your password becomes.
3. Avoid Personal Information
Resist the temptation to use easily accessible personal information such as your name or birthdate. Hackers can often find this information online.
4. Avoid Dictionary Words
Steer clear of using single words that can be found in a dictionary. Instead, consider creating a passphrase or combining multiple words to form a unique password.
5. Randomness Is Key
Randomness is crucial for a strong password. Avoid predictable patterns like “12345” or “password.” The more random your password, the harder it is to crack.
6. Avoid Common Patterns
Common keyboard patterns like “qwerty” or “asdfgh” should be avoided at all costs. These patterns are easy for hackers to guess.
7. Unique for Each Account
Never reuse passwords across different accounts. Using different passwords for each account ensures that if one is compromised, your other accounts remain secure.
8. Consider Passphrases
A passphrase is a longer sequence of random words or a sentence. For instance, “PurpleBanana$MonkeyJumped!” is a robust passphrase that combines randomness and complexity.
9. Avoid Easy-to-Guess Information
Refrain from incorporating easily guessable information, such as the name of the website or service, into your password. This extra layer of obscurity makes it more challenging for attackers.
10. Change Regularly
Make it a habit to periodically change your passwords, especially for critical accounts like email and banking. Regular changes enhance your security.
11. Use a Password Manager
Consider using a password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or 1Password. These tools generate and securely store your passwords, simplifying the management of multiple strong passwords.
12. Two-factor Authentication (2FA)
Whenever possible, enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on your accounts. It adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code or authentication token in addition to your password.
13. Beware of Phishing
Stay cautious of phishing attempts that aim to trick you into revealing your password. Always verify the authenticity of the website before entering your password.
14. Secure Your Recovery Options
Ensure that the recovery email or phone number associated with your account is secure, as it can be used to reset your password.
15. Regularly Check for Breaches
Use websites like “Have I Been Pwned” to check if your email or passwords have been compromised in data breaches. If they have, change your passwords immediately.
16. Educate Yourself
Stay informed about current cyber security threats and best practices for password security. Knowledge is your best defence against online threats.
Remember that a strong password is your first line of defence in the online world. Taking the time to create and manage secure passwords is essential for protecting your digital identity and personal data.
By following these straightforward steps, you can significantly enhance your online security and reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber-attacks.
Stay safe online!
Researched by: Olamide Opebiyi