Why Passwords Should Be Top-of-Mind

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Who runs your world? Passwords…

Did you know the average Internet user has 25 accounts to maintain? Despite this, people only use an average of 6.5 different passwords to protect them, according to a Microsoft study. With identity theft and data breaches an ever-growing problem, it’s important to not only have a different password for each account but also to make those passwords easy to remember and hard to guess.

Some of our most private and important information is housed online, so why are we gambling with our safety? The following best practices help protect your identity and keep our data safe.

Password Protection Policies to Live By

Change your password every 90 days. – This might seem like a hassle at first, but hackers have a better chance of cracking your passwords if they never change. Also, don’t reuse passwords.

Passwords should be at least eight characters long. – Generally, the longer a password is, the harder it is to guess.

Don’t use the same password for each account. – Hackers target lower-security websites and then test cracked passwords on higher-security sites. Make sure each account has a different password.

Passwords should include uppercase letters and special characters. – Special characters include symbols like “#,” “*,” “+” and “>.” Get creative!

Don’t use names of spouses, kids, pets, etc. – All it takes for a hacker to crack passwords that include these things is a little research on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t use passwords that include bank account numbers, credit card numbers or birthdays. – Not only could hackers use these passwords to gain unauthorized access to our system, but they could also use these to empty your bank accounts or charge thousands of dollars to your credit cards.

Passwords should be easy to remember but hard to guess. – Think of an important event from your life and make a sentence out of it. Then, remove the spaces, turn a word or two into shorthand intentionally misspell a word, and add significant numbers if there are none in the sentence. For example, if you adopted two golden retrievers in 2007, you might end up with “2goldenretreevers07.”

Consider a Password Manager. – If you’re like most people, you’re probably using the same password for most of your accounts—and that’s not safe. If your one password gets stolen because of a breach, it can be used to access all your accounts and sensitive information. But there is no need to fret, password managers are easy to use and make a big difference. Check out PC Magazines: 2023 Top Ranked Password Managers.

Check out our Blog for more helpful stay-safe tips!