It seems like every day in the news, there is another story about a major corporation that has had millions of its customers’ personal data records stolen by hackers. These news articles normally conclude with a reminder to the reader to make sure that their passwords are strong and properly protected on all of their accounts. When it comes to creating passwords for our online accounts, it can be confusing today to know how best to protect ourselves from the cyber bad guys.
Here are some great tips on how to create strong passwords for all of your online activities.
How to Create a Good Password
Have you wondered how to make a strong password? Online criminals know that most people have a tendency to create passwords that are either super easy to remember or commonly used by many individuals. For example, it is hard to believe, but some of the most common passwords that people still use today are the ubiquitous “123456” and “password”.
Not only are these types of passwords simple to figure out, but hackers today also have sophisticated software programs at their disposal that do a great job of guessing millions of more complicated ones too.
Industry experts advise that people should create passwords that are at least eight characters long and contain a random assortment of letters, numbers and grammatical symbols. This is one of the best ways to protect your online information.
Not Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket
Another important way to protect your private online information is to have different passwords for each of your accounts. By using the same password for everything, you are opening yourself up to disaster, should your password be compromised. Having separate passwords for all of your online accounts will greatly help you minimize the devastating impact a cyber criminal can have on your life.
How Often Should You Change Your Password?
There is an ongoing debate in the industry among security experts as to exactly how often people should change their passwords. Some business productivity consultants make the argument that asking employees to change their password every few months is very distracting and actually takes them away from their job duties. In addition, should a password change cause an employee to be locked out, this can even further delay their ability to get back to work. Lastly, if a person is forced to change their password every few months, the strength or complexity of the succeeding ones tends to be diminished.
However, other industry experts feel that there are some distinct advantages to changing your password every few months. First, it severely limits the time that online thieves will have access to your accounts, should your password be discovered.
It is also a good security practice to change passwords 2-4 times a year if a person has the habit of using the same password for all of their accounts. Of course, the most important time to change a password is immediately after a security event has occurred. No matter what position a person chooses to take on this topic, everyone agrees that strong passwords are a key strategy in upholding your cyber security
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