Every time you need to create a new account, whether for an online store or more sensitive information like your bank, you need a unique, strong password to protect yourself. The more complex your password, the harder it will be for cyber attackers to crack.
With endless amounts of passwords taking up our lives, we need to make them all distinctive. Here are some strategies to help you create unbreakable passwords to protect your data.
What Are the Basics of a Strong Password?
At the absolute bare minimum, your password should tick off a few boxes.
Your Password Should Have At Least Twelve Characters
The longer the password, the better, but, at minimum, you should aim for twelve to fourteen characters in length.
Your Password Should Use a Mix of Different Characters
Don’t limit yourself to using one type of character. A mix of lowercase and capital letters, numbers, special characters and symbols are more challenging to crack than simple letters.
Your Password Shouldn’t Be Common Words
Having a password be a word or a string of words can be too obvious and easy to crack. Even if you add substitutions for letters with symbols and numbers, it’s still not a strong enough password to reliably protect your accounts and information.
How Do You Create a Strong Password?
The key to creating a strong password is to make it memorable, difficult to guess, and something unique that only you would understand.
Create a Code for Your Passwords
Having your own codes for words or phrases that only you will know is the best layer of protection possible. Whether it’s a code of your favourite book or a rhyme you’ve created, unless someone is in your head, they will never know.
With the advent of emojis, we rarely use emoticons anymore. Incorporating them into your coded password can add an extra level of protection. Maybe you can add the emotion you feel about your quote, the tone of your rhyme, or an utterly contradictory emotion.
Never Write Down Your Password
Writing down your passwords can be a disaster if you lose your notebook or someone snoops. Especially for work passwords, it can be tough to remember passwords that have nothing to do with your internal code.
Use a Password Manager
If you desperately need help keeping track of your passwords, there are secure password management programs that can store your passwords without fear of them falling into the wrong hands. Even locked documents are not secure enough for sensitive passwords, so go with whichever password management tool your company’s IT professionals recommend.
Just because a password is complicated for you to remember doesn’t mean a computer can’t guess. Take your time making an internal system to organize your passwords in your head. If you’re worried about forgetting a crucial password, consider password management software for your less critical passwords.