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Your passwords are the first line of defense against cybercriminals and hackers. But if you’re using simple, easy-to-guess passwords, then you’re putting yourself at risk. Here are four tips to help you create and maintain secure passwords that aren’t easily guessed or cracked.
Tip #1: Be Random and Avoid Predictable Elements - Passwords should never be easy to guess. Don’t use your name, company name, address, or any other recognizable words or phrases in your password. Instead, use a password manager to generate a long, complex password with random characters that cannot be easily guessed by anyone who knows you.
On a global scale there are government agencies advocating for sites to insist on 64 characters in their password.
Tip #2: Don't Repeat Passwords Across Sites - According to a 2020 survey by Ipsos, two out of three people admit to repeating the same password across multiple sites. This is incredibly dangerous because if one account is compromised, all of the accounts that share that same password can be as well. Create unique passwords for each site so that if one is breached, there's no way for it to spread further.
Tip #3: Leverage Technology - There are plenty of tools available today designed to make managing passwords easier and more secure. Password managers allow users to store all of their credentials in an encrypted database which can only be accessed using one master password; this eliminates the need for memorizing individual passwords across multiple sites. Additionally, many websites now offer two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users to provide both a username and password as well as a secondary code received via text message or an app like Microsoft Authenticator when logging in from unfamiliar devices or locations.
Tip #4: Use Special Characters - Alphanumeric passwords (passwords consisting only of numbers and letters) are relatively easy to guess due to existing software programs that “brute force” their way into accounts by cycling through every possible combination until they find the right one. To make your password harder to guess, add punctuation marks and other symbols such as %$#@!&*+_. This will dramatically increase the amount of time it takes for someone to break into your account, even with sophisticated hacking software at their disposal.
Keeping your data safe requires more than just luck; it requires active effort on your part. By following these four tips—being random with your choices; having different passwords across sites; using technology like 2FA; and incorporating special characters—you can significantly improve your digital security without sacrificing convenience or ease-of-use. It may take some effort on your part but trust us when we say it's worth it!
Password management is not an easy challenge to implement across your business however with employee training and frameworks such Cyber Essentials The One Point can help make it an achievable goal.
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