Are you safe online? There are loads of things you can do to stay secure, but your first port of call should be to use strong passwords and to keep them safe. So in honour of World Password Day (yes! that’s a thing), which fell on 5 May this year, here are a few great tips on how to make sure you have a spectacular password that will keep you secure.
1. Choose A Unique Password
Choose something others won’t easily guess.
You can do this by:
- Avoiding obvious combinations
- 12345 and stuvwxyz are not secure passwords, and neither is a combination of the two, such as abc987
- Using a good mixture of capital and lowercase letters, as well as symbols and numbers is ideal
- Not using the same password across platforms
- Change it up and get creative think of a password that reminds you of that platform, so you won’t forget it, i.e. mybankmakesmesad
- Not using your personal information
- Don’t use your pet or partner’s name and never ever your birthday or wedding anniversary
- Steering clear of existing words
- If a string of random letter and numbers are too difficult to remember try using multi-word phrases, such as: thegreenfoxisfast
- You can also use phonetic replacements, such as changing love into luv
Pro Tip: You can replace letters with numbers and symbols that look similar, i.e. th3gr33nf0x1sf@a$t
2. Don’t Share Your Password
Remember once you’ve picked an excellent password, to keep it under lock and key. Never reveal your password to anyone and never write it down!
3. Change Your Password Often
The average password is changed every 3.1 months, so if you haven’t changed your passwords in over 3 months, it’s time to change them up a bit.
4. Log Off When You Are Done
It’s a good idea to log off on all devices and accounts when you are done using them, so somebody cannot accidentally gain access and change your passwords from within.
5. Use A Password Manager
With a password manager you only have to remember your main password for the manager itself, and it will take care of all your other passwords for you. Check out some of the following options: Dashlane, LastPass and KeePass.
6. Use Two-factor Authentication
You are probably already familiar with this extra layer of security. Many banks require that you insert special pins to shop online for instance. If you need some extra security on investments or other critical information, do some research and see whether an extra layer of authentication is available or whether you can run a special application to help your achieve a more secure online experience.
Here is an excellent infographic from Lifehacker on how to choose the ideal password:
Loved these tips. Check out our recent post on how to keep your phone secure.