The passwords that you choose for your online accounts will safeguard everything from your banking details to your work correspondences, so you need to make sure that the ones you choose are going to be very hard to hack. Here are 4 simple steps to creating ironclad passwords.
- Change Every Three Months
A password should never be set in stone, no matter how impenetrable you believe it to be. Changing your password will invalidate any stored login details on devices that you’d previously used, and it’s worth remembering that you might not know your information has been hacked until a while after the initial hack occurs.
- Use Phrases
When people try to pick a password, they often choose individual words instead of phrases. This is problematic for a few reasons. Firstly, such passwords are generally harder to remember since they are just a random collection of one or two words. Secondly, such passwords will be easier to hack because they won’t be as complex. Instead, try using a long phrase that will stick in your mind.
- Use Different Passwords for Each Site
Even someone as tech-savvy as Mark Zuckerberg has been caught out. Mark’s details for Twitter and several other sites were obtained when a hacker guessed his password as ‘dadada’; he has just had his first child. The password itself wasn’t very complex, but that error was compounded by using it across multiple accounts. It’s bad enough if someone hacks your Facebook; you don’t need them hacking your work email into the bargain.
Multiple passwords might seem tricky to keep hold of, but this is where using phrases provides an additional benefit. You can fit the phrase around the site to make it stick in your mind. For example, you can use something like ‘Ikeepincontactprojects’ for your work account and ‘picturescorfu2013’ for your Facebook.
- Use Substitutions and Abbreviations
Finally, make sure you throw some abbreviations and substitutions into the mix. Most sites will now require the use of numbers and special characters alongside regular letters. Again, it’s best to fit these requirements into a phrase instead of just picking arbitrary characters and numbers. So, ‘funatsummer’ becomes ‘fun@$ummer’.