The Ultimate Guide to Password Safety
Written by Lucas Klemmer   
Friday, 03 September 2021

You’ve heard it dozens of times before: don’t write your passwords down on a piece of paper, don’t tell anyone your passwords, always use numbers, and so on and so on. You’d think everyone’s gotten password safety rules down by now.

Well, judging from the most popular password on the web right now, which is “123456”, it’s safe to say that people still aren’t aware of the risks of weak passwords. Using a simple password means that any hacker can crack it in a few seconds. It’s just as safe as using no password at all.

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Even if your account isn’t that important, you still wouldn’t want anyone snooping around, right? That’s why you should ensure that all of your passwords align with the most basic password safety tips, which you’re about to learn in this article!

  1. Stop creating easy passwords

You have no idea how quickly hackers can guess easy passwords. If your password includes your name, address, birth date, or any simple phrase, hacking it is a piece of cake. Put in the effort and create long passwords (at least 8 characters, preferably more) with many different characters. Use lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers, and don’t use obvious words! 

  1. Always use different passwords

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! In the case of password security, this means not letting the safety of all of your accounts depend on a single password. It doesn’t matter if it’s long and difficult to guess. If a hacker cracks your password, they’ll most likely try it out on your other accounts. Just one account being hacked would be highly damaging. Imagine if all of them were hacked and all of your data were in the hands of a malicious hacker? To avoid this scenario, don’t be lazy and work on creating different passwords!

  1. Use a password generator

Think about how much time and energy you’d need to spend on creating unique passwords for every single one of your accounts. If you’re anything like the average internet user, you have dozens of them, and you probably aren’t too keen on memorizing that many passwords. To save yourself some time, use a password generator that will create strong and unique passwords for you. If you’re interested in getting a password generator, please read more here.

  1. Use a password manager

A password manager is another great tool that will put your password safety concerns at ease. It can take all of the passwords you created on your password generator and safely store them. Don’t worry, it’s not the same as writing down your passwords on a piece of paper. With a password manager, your passwords are encrypted, and you’re the only one who can access them. You just need to create a strong password for the password manager itself, and that’s the only one you’ll need to remember.

  1. Switch your passwords every once in a while

No matter how great your passwords are, it’s always a good idea to switch them up. How can you be sure a hacker doesn’t already know your login info and isn’t visiting your account to spy on you? Also, how can you know that a hacker hasn’t been trying to guess your password for months already? Short answer - you can’t. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. For your important accounts, don’t forget to change your passwords occasionally.

  1. Be careful on unknown wifi and devices

Public wifi and public computers are a big no-no when it comes to password safety. You never know who’s on the other end of that wifi or who’s spying on public devices. Even public USB charging stations can be infected with password-stealing malware. Our recommendation would be to avoid connecting to these altogether. However, that’s impossible for many people, especially those who travel a lot. In that case, we’d recommend changing your passwords as soon as you disconnect from any public wifi or devices.

  1. Beware of phishing attempts

Why bother writing lines and lines of malware code if you can simply fool users into giving passwords away free-willingly? Phishing is when hackers create fake personas online and pretend to be trustworthy to obtain sensitive information. You might get a pop-up window asking you to log into your account, an email asking you to reset your password, or a phone call from someone from a fake organization asking you to identify yourself by stating your password. We all like to believe we’re too smart to fall for these, but phishing schemes can be tricky to spot sometimes. So always think twice before entering your passwords anywhere. 

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  • Lucas Klemmer is a senior security specialist in one of the UK's leading tech companies and is responsible for adjusting his firm's cybersecurity tools in accordance with the latest standards in the industry

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Last Updated ( Monday, 06 September 2021 )