Password security is a relevant topic nowadays and must be taken seriously. From creating secure login credentials for your personal social media accounts to protecting the access to the most vulnerable data of your company – passwords are a critical and often overlooked
outpost of cyber security. Today we will overview the common misconceptions, the best way to manage passwords and how to make sure they are secure.
I checked the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) UK cyber survey report to find out what were the most popular passwords last year.
It came up with this list:
- 123456 (23.2m uses)
- 123456789 (7.7m uses)
- qwerty (3.8m uses)
- password (3.6m uses)
- 1111111 (3.1m uses)
It’s no wonder why highly professional hackers do hack people, businesses and other accounts of significant importance. It’s just too easy.
So what’s the best way to manage passwords and make sure they are hacker-proof? Let’s start with the obvious.
Make your passwords C0mp1icat3d_!
Longer and more complex passwords are harder to hack. Make sure your super-secure and simple password as “hello” (trust us, that is a way too common password not to take it as an example in this article) has:
- at least one capital letter to make it “Hello”
- some numbers, so it is now “He11o”. (Pro tip – write numbers inside the password, but not at the end, ideally exchange some letters to numbers)
- some symbols – “He11o%”
- some length – as “He11o%tH3re&&”
There is no doubt that the latest version “He11o%tH3re&&” is more complex than just “hello”, right?
Avoid easy-to-guess strings of numbers (123456) and letters (qwertyu)
Okay, you’ve read that there has to be some numbers and (random) letters included in your password. But “12345” is easier to guess than “63895”, right?
Same applies for randomized letters. If you’ll take a sequence of letters by pressing letters one close to each in your keyboard as in “qwertyu” or “asdfghjk” – there is no higher level of security achieved. Take a look again at the third most common password.
I know it’s easier to swipe your finger through your keyboard but we all gathered here for some security tips, didn’t we?
Avoid sharing personal, easy-to-find info
You’ve just recently posted on your Twitter account what a cute daughter Daniel you have! No surprise why your accounts secured with password “daniel” got hacked.
Try to avoid all the basic, easy to find information about you in the passwords you use: date of birth (this is a super common one!), nationality, names of family members, car brand you drive and so on. You get it.
Delete vulnerable passwords from your internet browser
Your browser, doesn’t really matter which one you use (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge), might store your passwords from websites or databases you would like to protect. It might be convenient not to type-in your password each time you login to a website, but you do agree that safety comes first, right?
We suggest you to delete all your passwords from there because it may contain credentials to accounts that store your sensitive personal information, such as credit card info, personal details that can be easily revealed in just a few simple steps! You can manage them in your ‘browser settings’ -> ‘passwords’.
Use a password manager
I understand you – each time you need to come up with a new secure password, following each security step, it becomes a complicated and challenging task. Especially when you have to do it almost every day.
Well, the best way to manage passwords is still to make sure the passwords you create are secure. And one of the most convenient ways to create strong new and store already existing passwords is to use a password manager.
By using password manager, you are keeping your data encrypted (converted into a highest-level of password security code, thus protected from data breaches and leaks), under precise control and, therefore, super safe.
One of such password management tools is PassCamp. In PassCamp you are able to create new randomized passwords (including security elements you want – symbols, upper/lower random letters, numbers), and you don’t need to remember all of them – simply save them in your account and you have them all in one place.
Good news is that even if one of your passwords gets hacked, hackers won’t be able to track the rest of your passwords, because each and every password you store in a password manager is unique and follows strong security standards (and we hope you’ll do too!).
Bonus tip: do not reuse any of your passwords in multiple accounts.
One of the most prominent reasons why so many passwords are hacked is reusing the same, weak password for multiple accounts (according to Data Breach Investigations Report). Once a hacker has your password, there is a high chance of him trying to reuse it in other websites because he knows that many people blindly do it.
Laziness has its cost. Today that cost might be your personal information or business critical data.
We invite you to take another look at your existing passwords, apply the rules you’ve just learnt and protect your personal and business data now!