Do you think you’ve got good password habits? Have you been updating your passwords once every three months? According to ExpressVPN’s infographic on common passwords, poor password habits are a global issue responsible for countless data leakage incidents.
Considering that passwords are the first line of defense against cybercrime, developing a good password management strategy is of utmost importance.
Hence, we’re bringing you a few valuable suggestions for managing your passwords more successfully and what you should keep in mind when creating a password.
Best password management practices
1. Create a unique password for each account
You might want to rethink your password strategy if your mind goes blank every time you have to create a new password, and you end up reusing some of your old passwords. Reused passwords can give cybercriminals easier access to multiple accounts, and you can lose sensitive data in a blink of an eye.
Always create a unique password for each new account. The safest option is to create separate email accounts and use one for business-related purposes and the other one for social media accounts and similar personal needs. If someone breaks into your personal account, they won’t endanger your work-related projects.
2. Use a password manager
Password statistics show that 57% of people write down their passwords on sticky notes. If you fall into this group, you need to change your password management system as soon as possible.
Password managers are by far the safest way to store your credentials. Most password managers have a generating feature so that you don’t have to worry about creating unique, long, and strong passwords for your accounts. The only password you’ll have to create and memorize is the master password that gives you access to all of your credentials. Aside from generating passwords, it will store your credentials in an encrypted vault and keep them out of any hackers’ range. Plus, many of them offer other security services that assist you with changing old passwords, alerting you to breaches, and more.
3. Use multi-factor authentication
Even though passwords are older than the internet itself, keep in mind that they’re not the safest way to protect your accounts. However, they can be an excellent part of a more comprehensive authentication strategy. Multi-factor authentication uses several verification methods to ensure maximum security. For instance, it can include your old-school password combined with a biometric feature like a fingerprint and a physical device like a token. A hacker will have to break through all verification layers to get to your data, which is highly unlikely since the system alerts you every time someone tries to break through the first layer.
How to create strong passwords
The biggest challenge when creating a password is to develop a unique password that is also easy to remember. Here are some guidelines that could help you create secure passwords:
- Make your passwords at least ten characters long
- Combine symbols, numbers, and letters
- Always combine upper and lower case characters
- Never use personal information like birthdays, personal names, pet names, etc.
- Use an acronym that has a specific meaning to you and that’s easy to remember
- Don’t use all numeral passwords with personal information like your license plate number
- Use combinations of seemingly unrelated terms
- Use deliberately misspelled words
A buildable cybersecurity strategy should always be based on good password management. If you’re not using a password manager, remember to create a separate password for each account and change them every few months. Never write down your passwords on sticky notes, and never leave them unattended. Also, sharing passwords is a risky practice that can easily endanger your sensitive data. Try implementing these few suggestions into your security framework and frequently update your strategy.
ALSO READ: Guide to secure your personal files on Mac