It seems like a very common topic. Passwords. As we are currently in the wake of yet another password breach, this time encompassing over 5 million Gmail passwords, it seems like no matter what you do, your password can and will be stolen. What should you do if you are a victim or simply want to see if your password was one of the compromised? Furthermore, how can you pick a safe password?
Check out this list of 6 things to NOT do when choosing or managing your passwords.
1. Use those websites that you type in your password to check if it was one of the compromised ones. Seriously, don’t do it! Can you really trust these websites and what’s the use? If you think for a second that you could be one of the victims CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD.
2. Not using two-factor authentication. Turn on two-factor authentication whenever it’s offered. I know that it can be a pain, but it will help keep your online accounts safer. If for any reason your password is hacked, someone won’t be able to login to your account without the 2nd authentication.
3. Be lazy. If any of these most common passwords are yours, change them NOW.
4. Choose a password that is related to anything that has special meaning to you, ie: your pets name, birthday, address, family members names, etc. We know, we know, it’s easy to remember though! But, these things are easy to find out about a person with a quick search on Google and should not be used for passwords.
5. Not using a string of random words, as suggested by xkcd. A string of random words may seem hard to remember, but this cartoon illustrates how it is actually way easy.
6. Not using a a password manager like Keepass, Lastpass, or 1Password. Once you have your super secure, hard to remember password, it’s just that, HARD TO REMEMBER. 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 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 AND keeping them safe? Was one of your passwords on the most common list?
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.