How Strong is Your Password?
If you’re trying to keep your information secure, then your password strength is crucial. For many sites, the only barrier between your private information and the public is one passcode. Is your choice of password doing enough to keep everything safe? Here are some common mistakes you or your employees may be making that put your data at risk.
- Previously used passwords. The average person visits 25 password-protected websites, but only uses six different passwords. One in every three people uses the same password for every site. This puts your information in great danger because if a hacker unlocks one password, he or she then has access to ALL of your information and possibly you professional information. There goes your client contacts, confidentiality agreements, financial documents, personal emails and pictures, and so on.Yes, it can be difficult to remember a different password for each of your 25 accounts, but having separate passcode for each puts your sensitive information in a much higher level of security. There are great apps and websites like Last Pass, KeePass, and 1Password will remember your account information and help you log into your accounts without you having to remember each specific password. As long as you remember your password for that account, you’ll have access to all of your accounts!
- Your name or nickname. It’s very easy to remember your own name. It’s also very easy for a hacker to figure out as well. Avoid using any form of your name in any password.
- Names of your friends or family. It’s a beautiful tribute to your mother, but a simple Google search or Facebook wall viewing can reveal your close relationships. Hackers know this, and they will exploit this weakness if you give them the opportunity to do so.
- Words in the dictionary. It is much easier to remember a word than a series of letters and/or numbers. It’s also easier for an unwelcome intruder to figure out a word than a series of letters or numbers. Even purposely misspelling a word in your password (like choosing “baesball43” instead of “baseball43”) can greatly improve your account safety.
- Login information. If you’re signing into your LinkedIn account, your password should not be “linkedin1.” On that note, you should never make your password the same as your username for the site.
- Keyboard patterns or swipes. It is super simple to type “asdfjkl;” into a password bar. You can probably type it so fast, no person looking over your shoulder would be able to figure out what you wrote. However, this simple movement is also simple for hackers, and rest assured, they will crack that code faster than you can say qwerty.
Here’s some quick stats the prove what a strong password will do for you. Most websites require at least 8 characters per password. If you select a password with only lowercase letters, it will take a hacker about 4 days to decode. By adding at least one uppercase letter, that decoding time jumps to three years. By adding at least one number or symbol, it will now take a hacker 463 years to crack your code. There’s power in numbers!
In conclusion, your password strength is a crucial part of your online security. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be creating safe passcode to ensure the highest security of your important information.