In our modern, digital world, the number of cyber attacks targeting both personal and business data is on the rise. To help you stay safe online and protect yourself against such breaches, we’re going to be sharing some of our top tips and tricks for staying secure with you through a series of blog posts over the next few weeks.
Since today is World Password Day, we thought there was no better place to start than with a how-to guide for choosing a good password for your accounts, so why not grab a cup of tea and keep reading to find out more?
When it comes to protecting our personal data, having a good, strong password is the crucial first line of defence against digital attacks. From social media profiles and email accounts through to online banking and business software, more and more of our information is moving online across an increasing number of platforms, making it hard to keep track of what’s what.
While it can be tempting to take shortcuts and use simple, easy-to-guess passwords that are duplicated across different accounts to make them easier to remember, this can leave you and your personal information vulnerable to exposure, which is why we thought we’d share some of our top tips for choosing a strong, secure password below to help keep your data safe.
1. Make it long
One of the most important components of a strong password is its length; the longer your password, the more difficult it is for a hacker to crack it. A good rule of thumb is to use a password that is at least 12 characters long, though you should ideally make it even longer if you can.
2. Use a mixture of characters
A strong password is one which includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols; the more variety you have in your password, the harder it will be for someone to guess it. Although it might be tempting to use common words or phrases in your password to help you remember them easier, these are easy for hackers to crack, so try to avoid doing so to maximise security.
3. Leave out personal information
One important rule for password creation is to avoid using any personal information such as your name, birthdate, or address in it. This information is surprisingly easy for hackers to find and they will almost certainly use this to guess your password. Instead, use a combination of random words or a passphrase that’s meaningful to you but would be hard for others to guess.
4. Don’t reuse passwords
We know it’s really tempting to reuse the same password for multiple accounts, but this is a huge security risk that isn’t worth taking. If one of your accounts is hacked and your password is compromised, all of your other accounts that use the same password are also at risk, so make sure to use a unique password for each account.
5. Use a password manager
Even if you have an exceptionally good memory, keeping track of multiple long and complex passwords can be difficult. To make life easier for yourself, you may wish to use a password manager that can help you generate and store strong passwords for each of your accounts. This way, you only need to remember one master password to access all of your accounts, and most can be used across multiple devices.
6. Enable two-factor authentication
An increasing number of accounts now offer two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your accounts, and this is a feature that’s well worth enabling. With two-factor authentication, you need to provide two forms of identification to log in to your account, such as a password and a fingerprint scan or a one-time code sent to your phone. This makes it much harder for someone to access your account, even if they do somehow manage to guess your password.
By following these tips above, you will be able to create a strong, unique password for each of your accounts, keeping your personal information safe from hackers. To help make these points easier to remember in future, we’ve created an infographic for you to download here.
If you have any security worries and wish to speak to one of our friendly experts about how we can help protect your business’ data, get in touch today by calling us on 01480 262222 and we will be happy to assist.