4 Easy Steps to Strengthen Your Passwords

4 Easy Steps to Strengthen Your Passwords

It takes just 11 hours for a hacker to crack a 6 character password. This time shrinks to just seconds if you’re guilty of using “123456???. But – throw in just 3 more letters and we’re talking upwards of 10 years.
The sophistication of hacking has evolved, and no longer do we live in a world where we can ignore warnings about the need for stronger passwords.
Here are a few quick and easy tips to help you strengthen your security online:

1. Avoid Personal Information

    • You need to be careful with how much personal information you reveal online. Sharing your address, phone number, birthday and other personal information can mean you are at a greater risk of identity theft, stalking and harassment. This includes information you post on social media.
    • You also need to think about what information you may have online that is spread across multiple sites. Identity thieves can piece together your identity from public information that is available about you online.

2. Use A Passphrase

    • Passphrases are easier to remember than a random of symbols and letters combined together. It would be easier to remember a phrase from your favorite song or your favorite quotation than to remember a short but complicated password.
    • Passwords are relatively easy to guess or crack by both human and robots. The online criminals have also leveled up and developed state of the art hacking tools that are designed to crack even the most complicated password.
    • Satisfies complex rules easily. The use of punctuation, upper and lower cases in Passphrases also meets the complexity requirements for passwords.
    • Major OS and applications supports passphrase. All major OS including Windows, Linux and Mac allow pass-phrases of up to 127 characters long. Hence, you can opt for longer passphrases for maximum security.
    • Passphrases are next to impossible to crack because most of the highly-efficient password cracking tools breaks down at around 10 characters. Hence, even the most advanced cracking tool won’t be able to guess, brute-force or pre-compute these passphrases.
    • What is a passphrase I hear you ask and why is it better than a password?  Check out this site:  https://www.useapassphrase.com/

3. Use Unique Passwords For Each Account

    • Use a unique password for each separate account. If you use the same password across multiple accounts, you could use the most reliable password possible, and if one account is compromised: all of them are, as seen in the 2016 LinkedIn breach, hackers were able to gain access to other sites since many users used repeat passwords across multiple platforms. The recommended best practice is to create a strong password ideas list and use it for all your online accounts. Your unique list of passwords should be kept safe.

4. Consider Using A Password Manager

    • A password manager will make it easy to stay in control of your cyber security by remembering logins and passwords for you. Nearly all Password Managers will generate secure passwords utilizing the latest best practices so you don't have to keep up with new recommendations. Plus, most now have a desktop version that links directly to a mobile app which makes it simple and easy for your employees to keep working while staying protected.

Take a few minutes today to begin protecting your online information. If you update just one password a day, you’ll cover many of your frequently used websites in no time.

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