We are quickly becoming accustomed to hackers gaining access to passwords.
After the most recent incident, where hackers gained access to 2 million Facebook, Twitter and Gmail passwords, and in late October when it was revealed that over 38 million user accounts and passwords to Adobe accounts were leaked, I think it may be a great time to talk about how to choose a safe password. Even though choosing a strong password won’t necessarily safeguard you from password breaches, it will keep you safe in every day internet life.
1. For starters, don’t be lazy. Analysts found that of that list of 38 million passwords, these 20 were the most common. Is your password one of these? Change it now.
2.Choose a password with mixed-case letters, numbers and symbols (example: !, $, #, %).
3. Choose a password that is NOT related to anything that has special meaning to you, ie: your pets name, birthday, address, family members names, etc.
4. Use a different password for every account that you have. I know, I know, this one SUCKS, but it will definitely come in handy if one of your accounts get compromised. Multiple passwords will ensure that your other accounts remain safe.
5. Don’t use a word that is found in the dictionary. You can switch up the word by replacing the I’s with 1′s, or the O’s with 0.
6. Choose a password that is 8 characters or longer.
7. Use a virtual keyboard when entering passwords. A virtual keyboard won’t let a keylogger program capture your keystrokes.
8. Use a string of random words, as suggest by xkcd. A string of random words may seem hard to remember, but this cartoon illustrates how it is actually way easy.
9. Use a password keeper like Keepass, Lastpass, or 1Password. These password management programs will help you manage your passwords securely. With most, your passwords are stored behind a master password. You only need to remember that one password to access the rest. These programs will even generate safe passwords for you to use.
What tricks to do you use when choosing and creating passwords? Was one of your passwords on the most common list? Be sure to share this post with friends and family to keep their online data safe too.