Up-to-date tips to protect you
When I was recently asked by my Cloud account to change the password on my laptop, I started thinking about all the various devices and software applications that require a password. I counted over 40 and feel that I’m at the lower end of the spectrum. Everything from retail sites, games, social media, and email to bank, insurance, work and software accounts. Just about everything online requires a password. So when I found myself needing to update a password again, I got a little annoyed.
Didn’t I just do that three months ago? Must it be 8 characters or more? Do I really have to use upper and lower case, numbers AND special characters? The answer is yes. The more complex a password, the much-improved security it provides.
This is nothing new. Yet we convince ourselves that “it won’t happen to me” and continue to choose easy-to-remember passwords such as names, birthdates, and other predictable information which are obvious to a hacker. The use of computer software to assist in finding your password and stealing from your online accounts or worse, your identity, are commonplace among thieves. Taking time to create and use a strong password is oftentimes the best and strongest defense against compromise.
Tips on what not to do when creating passwords:
- Never choose the auto login option for any application on any device.
- Never allow Google Chrome or any other leading browser to store your password.
- Never use combinations, such as abc123, yourname1 or combinations of addresses and phone numbers.
- Never use your username or any slight variation for the password.
- Never use the word “password”. You’d be surprised how many people still use this word.
- Never use 123456789 or a similar string of sequential numbers or letters.
- Do not use names of family, pets, holidays, sport teams, schools or other common words.
- Do not double words such as passwordpassword.
- Never store your passwords in an easily accessible location such as in your phone, on your desktop or in your wallet.
Tips to create a strong password you’ll remember.
- Set aside some time to think about what will work for you.
- As stated above, use 8 characters or more and select a variety of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Create a password containing symbols but resist the urge to place them at the beginning or end of the password.
- Be sure to make each password significantly different from previous passwords.
- Stay away from complete words or phrases.