Do you know the easiest way for a cybercriminal to gain access to your bank, social media, email and other private data? It’s a weak password. In fact, most of the passwords will be cracked in a “blink of an eye”. According to Nacional Cyber Security Centre, the five most common passwords in 2019 were “123456”, “123456789”, “qwerty”, “password” and “1111111”. So, if you have some of those passwords, or similar ones, please take a look at the example below.
One of the most common problems with passwords is that they are generally easy to guess. Many people think that a short password with lots of different characters types is secure when, in fact, the reality is that the only way to ensure a truly secure password is to make at least 14 characters long and somewhat arbitrary. In addition, as you can see, the more complex your password is, the more difficult it is to guess. A strong password is a combination of letters (capital and lowercases), numbers and symbols. A good way to never forget your unique password is to choose a sentence instead of words, mixing it with alphanumeric characters – most websites even allow spaces between words!
Nevertheless, there are more aspects to consider when creating new accounts and digital profiles to fully maximize your cyber safety and protection. Below you can observe very common “DOs” and “DON’Ts” regarding passwords. If you follow these “golden rules”, your passwords are almost indecipherable to hackers.
DON’T: Use the same password for every account
DO: Create unique passwords to unique accounts and profiles
We all know that today almost every website requires an account and almost everyone uses the same passwords for different accounts. However, people often forget that these accounts contain identity or financial information about them that can be stolen or compromised and by using only one password you become an easy target for cyberattacks.
DON’T: Save your passwords in another source
DO: Memorize your passwords and setup security questions on your accounts
One easy way that is often used to remember passwords is to store them in a spreadsheet, hard drive or in personal notes. Try to memorize your passwords! You can also set up security questions on your accounts as a precaution. However, instead of setting common questions like “What is your mother’s name?” or “Where are you from?” use questions which only you can answer.
DON’T: Share passwords with others
DO: Be secretive with your passwords
Right after using the same password for every account another common mistake is related to the fact that people share their passwords with others by e-mail, text messages or social media.
In order to keep your passwords safe, you must change passwords with regularity. Remember that somewhere in the world there is a hacker that keeps trying to steal user’s passwords and, the more time they have, the higher the risk of them to succeed.
DON’T: Choose a strong password and stick with it
DO: Change your passwords every three months
Most browsers and applications allow users to save their credentials so they don’t have to insert them every time they want to login. Despite being very convenient, keep in mind that if you lose your devices and a stranger manages to crack you access password, all that information is accessible to that person.
DON’T:Use one authentication factor
DO: Add two-factor authentication for every digital account
If you use two-factor authentication on your digital accounts, it will add an extra layer of security to them. When someone logs into your account from a new location, device or browser you will be receive a password, which needs to be entered for logging into your account. Apart from that, another type of two factor authentications is a fingerprint, a voiceprint or a code sent to your phone. Many people think this is time-consuming but if you are seriously concerned about your privacy you should use a two-factor authentication for your digital accounts when this option is possible. When you don’t have the option to use a two-factor authentication you should follow the recommendations that were mentioned before.