How many different login credentials do you use every day? If you are like most people, you have several accounts for your online banking, email, subscriptions, online shopping and other sites. And these are just in your personal life. Chances are, you have a number of passwords you use each day for business as well. Did you know that you need a different AND strong password for each of your business and personal accounts to protect yourself against hackers? Here are three ways to come up with stronger passwords — and remember them all:
Use phrases instead of single words. The word “Password” remains one of the most common passwords in use today. Surprised? Other one-word passwords remain popular as well. Adding a few numbers to a single word isn’t a great solution. Passwords instead should be comprised of a long string of seemingly random uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. A phrase can also be a strong password. Start with song lyrics or a phrase. The more obscure, the better! You do not have to use spaces in these phrases. Just type all of the words into one, long password.
Add in several special characters. Add characters throughout your password in place of letters, in between words or at the beginning or end of the password. For example, the strong password version of “TheQuickBrownFoxJumpsOvertheLazyDog’ could be Th3Qu1ckBr0wnF0xJump$0verTh3LazyD0g. Use a not-so-obvious phrase, though, that you’ve made up yourself. Don’t include your own name or birthday or information relating to any of your family members in your password.
Use a password manager and two-factor authorization. Now that you have several different quality passwords for all of your log-ins, it is time to remember them. A password manager is a secure spot that remembers those complex passwords for you through a two-factor authentication system. Two-factor authorization requires you to provide a second form of identification, such as a multi-digit code texted to a smartphone, to log into an online account. It’s a highly secure way to protect your private information. So, instead of remembering dozens of passwords, you just need to remember one.
Speaking of two-factor authorization, using it can dramatically reduce your chances of being a victim of cyber crime. Use it in as many online accounts as you can. It may take a few extra minutes to log in, but substantially reduces your chances of being hacked.