Take a look at our top tips and tricks for choosing a secure password.
Your digital life is no longer safe. No matter how complex or unique, your password can no longer protect you from hackers.
These simple strings of characters can reveal everything about you – and as our online accounts become more interconnected, it is becoming even easier for hackers to gain access from one service to another.
How are our online passwords being hacked? They are simply guessed, lifted from a password dump, taken by brute force, stolen with a key-logger, or reset by conning a company’s customer support department. As technology advances so too does the hackers skill-set, security breaches have increased by 11% since 2018 and 67% since 2014 (Accenture).
It is impossible to have an online presence without a password. To keep your online presence secure, it is essential to have a good variety of passwords. Here are our tips that can help you stay safe on the internet.
- Reuse passwords – if a hacker cracks just one of your accounts with that password they will then have access to them all.
- Use a dictionary word – every word in a dictionary will fail under a simple dictionary attack or brute force attack from hackers. Try to make up a word that you will remember that is difficult to guess.
- Substitute numbers for letters – cracking tools are built to figure out passwords like “5h3LLfOrd”. Substituting a letter with a number is a good way to complicate your password, but replacing a simple word with numbers will leave you vulnerable to hacking.
- Use a short password – it won’t matter how complex it is, today’s processing speeds mean that even a password like “M%3#B” will be cracked quickly.
- Create accounts on suspicious websites – websites with subpar security are far likelier to get hacked and compromise your personal information. If you do need to create an account on a website that may have weak security, make sure to follow rule number one and create a completely new password.
- Enable two-factor authentication if available – a feature that requires a second step to log in to your account. This can vary but it usually requires you to give your phone number or email address when creating an account. So if you (or a hacker) are attempting to log in from an unknown device, a code will be sent to your phone or email which you need to enter to gain access.
- Give dummy answers to security questions – this can act as a secondary password. For example: What was your mother’s maiden name? Why, it was “Super Lady Boots Barbie” of course. Just don’t forget it!
- Suppress your online presence – Your email and billing address information is one of the easiest ways for hackers to get into your account. Having these details removed from public sites like social media profiles or the White Pages will make it harder for hackers to get their hands on it.
- Use a secure email address specifically for password recoveries – create an email account solely for the purpose of password recovery. This will make stop hackers from knowing where your password reset goes. Make sure you choose an account name that isn’t tied to your name so that it won’t be easily guessed.