Strong passwords are key to thwarting cyber-attacks. The real challenge involves remembering them. This is the reason why most people keep the same passwords for their social media accounts and cable services such as Cox basic cable. The habit of using the same login credentials for multiple accounts can have serious consequences.
Using robust passwords can prevent computer criminals from accessing your data. We all have come across news about password leakage and other concerns associated with it. So, how do you create a truly secure password? Try these password ideas and you can create unbreakable access to your accounts.
Get Some Help from Password Managers
Robust passwords are a combination of symbols, characters, alphabets, and numbers. They are also difficult to remember due to their complicated and unique combination. With the help of a password manager, you can create and store unique passwords for your accounts. You still have to remember a single master password in order to access other passwords. The catch is that single master passwords can be an easy target for hackers. Make sure that you use a dedicated password manager app instead of search engines to store your passwords.
Use Longer Passwords
The habit of using birthdays, names, and contact numbers can result in your accounts being hacked. While such passwords are easy to memorize, they are also the easiest to guess. Use longer passwords with different combinations to secure your accounts. While creating a password, it is important that you use eight characters or more for better protection of your accounts. You can use random, unconnected words to create better passwords for your accounts. Longer passwords can be difficult to remember, which is why you should use a password manager. Experts recommended using passphrases made up of random words.
Do Not Use Same Passwords for Different Accounts
Avoid the habit of using similar logging credentials for multiple accounts. Your Facebook password should not match your email password. Similarly, do not use the same password for different social media accounts. Avoid using your cellular connection number as your ATM pin. Consider using a random password generator to create passwords for your accounts. Also, do not expose your passwords by storing them in your office laptops. Follow the instructions of your IT administrator regarding password security. You can synchronize your passwords between different devices with the help of a password manager.
Enable Two-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the new industry standard when it comes to protecting digital information. MFA provides an added layer of security to your account. This comes in handy in case of information security breaches. MFA is also known as two-factor authentication (2FA). Digital communication tools such as Gmail, Facebook, and Instagram come with multi-factor authentication. If you enable 2FA, you will be required to enter an extra piece of information (usually a code) the next time you log in to your account. Fingerprint and eye scans are other types of MFA.
Use an Authenticator App
While codes and calls received through smartphones are convenient MFA tools, they are seen as an easy target for cybercriminals. Hackers can intercept your verification codes through SIM swap fraud (also known as SIM hijacking. Consider using dedicated authenticator apps instead of SMS codes and phone calls. Authenticator apps generate a one-time pin that automatically changes after every 30 seconds. Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator have widely used authenticator apps. Follow instructions provided by your authenticator app provider to add an extra layer of security to your browser or smart device.
Select Difficult Security Questions
Selecting security questions that are hard to guess is seen to improve password security. Hackers have a field day answering questions pertaining to birthdays and cell numbers. Pick questions that only you have the answer to. Remember, social media is filled with answers to common questions. So, do not make the mistake of going soft with your questions.
Change Your Passwords Periodically
You might have come across reminders from your social media platforms regarding password updates. It is important to update passwords after a certain period of time. However, you should not make a habit of changing them on a weekly basis. Moreover, if you think your password is strong enough then there is no need to change it in the first place. You can check for stolen and exposed passwords through the pwned passwords website.
Update Your Antivirus Regularly
Setting a strong password can protect your accounts from cyber threats. However, you need to implement extra security for better protection. Make sure that you update your antivirus software on a regular basis. Activate the firewall in your computer system, keep your smartphone operating system up to date. A good antivirus will detect and neutralize cyber threats that somehow manage to get past through other defense mechanisms of your computer and smartphone systems.
You can always seek the guidance of an IT expert for better assistance on the matter. Remember, a strong password is just the first step when it comes to securing your digital accounts. Breaches can be avoided if you are well-informed about the threats and measures pertaining to cyber security. You should also ask your family and friends to protect their smart devices against cyber threats.
Stay informed, stay safe!