How many times have you gone to login to a Web site, and forgotten your password? Have you gotten lazy and used the same password for all your accounts, just to make it easier, only to have an account hacked because they are all the same?
Password security is important to keep your information private and safe from prying eyes, but it can be daunting to figure out what to use for a password each time you have to create a new login I.D.. It’s time to become a password expert! Stay on top of your passwords, and make them as secure as possible.
1. Create a “strong” password.
Some sites will actually tell you what a strong password is, or what it contains. It will commonly contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and characters. If you choose numbers, then do not put numbers in succession, such as “123,” or enter your home address. Some sites actually take an extra step to make sure you select a secure password by not allowing you to create an account unless you meet their parameters of a strong password.
2. Become Familiar With LastPass.
Why waste time having to remember all those passwords? It is not only important to create a secure password, but to be able to remember your logins so you can login easily. I recommend using a password vault like LastPass. The best part about LastPass is that it is one login you have to remember for all of your internet browsers. It also does security checks so you can see which passwords should be made more secure, or which sites have been hacked into and may be vulnerable and in need of a password change. Stay on top of your security and keep everything in one place.
3. Choose something unique for your password.
As I warned before, it is unsafe, and unwise, to use “123,” your address, or your name as your password. Those are easy for people to guess. A nickname, or your favorite movie are good choices.
4. See this list of the top 20 worst passwords.
Some people actually just use “Password.” Really? Yes, unfortunately, really. Some people think they need to pick something easy for them to remember, but in turn are leaving themselves wide open for someone to hack into their account. Keep it complex. An eight character password versus a four character password changes the length of time it takes to decode the password from 41 days to eight years, according to CM Security. The more cryptic combination of numbers, letters, and characters make it less predictable.
5. Change your password regularly.
Go in every month or two and reset all your passwords to add an extra measure of security.
6. Pick a different password for each account.
Don’t just pick one default password and use it for everything. You can create your own formula, but make the login for each site unique. You may have to go back in through all of the places you are logged in to do this, but it is well worth the hassle. Also, be aware that your Google account controls multiple sites like YouTube and Google Drive, and Facebook allows you to login to many other sites and applications.
7. Test your password strength with this great tool from CM Security.
Go for a 6 star rating for the most secure password.
8. Think of a password you can memorize and customize.
To help you remember what you selected for each site – if you don’t want to use a password saving site – use something you CAN remember, and then customize it, like radio1#ebay, or radio1#facebook.
And don’t fret if you lose your password. You can always ask to reset it from whatever site you are trying to login to. The important thing is to create one from the beginning that can keep you safe online.
Featured photo credit: Locked Steel Gate by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com