Anyone in the 21st century need not be told how important passwords are. Whether it is your email ID, your work portal, your blog, banking tools, or your social media, a strong password is essential to not losing your accounts to attackers. This is especially important if we’re talking about something like your Google ID, which is used for a lot of other services like Gmail and more. We often take a lot of precautions to enhance our network security at home and in the office. As helpful as a firewall or an antivirus is, weak passwords if cracked can sometimes do a lot more damage to you than malware. Also Read - Mozilla Firefox 76 update brings Zoom improvements and password management
A simple workaround to maintain the security of all your online accounts is to keep a strong password. On the occasion of the World Password Day, here are a few tips that you should keep in mind while setting up your next password. Also Read - WhatsApp beta update reveals advanced search and backup password feature
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1. Make your password longer
The first and foremost aspect to work on is the length of your password. Most attackers who try to crack your passwords might be driven off by the length of it. Passwords that are over 8 or 10 characters long often need an unreal amount of effort to crack open. For instance, the difference between an 8 digit password and a 10 digit password may seem like just two characters. However, these two characters increase your password’s uniqueness by a lot. Also Read - Safer Internet Day: Google to tell if your passwords have been hacked
2. Use different passwords for different accounts
The second thing to remember is to use different passwords for different accounts. It might seem very convenient to keep the same password for a lot of different accounts today. You may think that regularly changing these same passwords to other same passwords may help. While that’s true, let’s imagine the unlikely event of one of your passwords being cracked. Now, this would compromise the security of every account with the same password, also compromising all further linked accounts. It is much safer to use different, unrelated passwords.
3. Avoid easy-to-guess personal information
If you’re setting up a password, remember to never make it easy for anyone to guess. Any combination of your name, nickname, birth date, phone number, and other personal details are the easiest to crack. A mistake most people make is including names numbers and references from their lives to remember the code better. However, if your password is associated with you, it also means it is just out there around you, waiting to be cracked. A good, strong password is a mixture of random small letters, capitals, and numbers in random order.
Finally, if you’ve taken care of all the above pointers, remember that there is always something more you can always do. A good mantra to swear by is to remember that no password is too strong to never be cracked. Hence, it is a great idea to change your passwords at regular intervals. Don’t hesitate to change your password earlier, if you feel it is not safe enough or if you suspect someone might have guessed it.
Even after you’ve mastered the art of keeping strong passwords, you can improve your security in other ways. A good practice to follow is to regularly update your recovery phone number/email address. Services like Google give you the option to implement two-factor authorization for your security. You can also make good use of two-factor authentication wherever possible, adding a real-time layer of security to those accounts. If too many passwords are hard for you to keep track of, you can write them down on a piece of paper. However, remember to keep this paper in a safe place!