You’d be amazed at how easy it is to create a secure password in 2019 and yet so many people don’t!
Despite the increasing efforts that many websites put into security precautions, it’s a two-way street and users need to catch up and take responsibility too. Weak passwords are still a common way to hack someone, even in 2019.
The National Cyber Security Centre released a list of the most common weak passwords found by analyzing data from 100 million passwords leaked in data breaches.
The top ten weakest passwords are the following:
Other noteworthy entries near the very top include things like “000000” and “Iloveyou.” The primary spot has been held by “123456” for years now, however.
A Secure Password in 2019 Should Be Complex, Unique, and Random
The above-mentioned passwords don’t even meet the minimum requirements of what’s considered a safe password nowadays. Today, truly secure passwords will have:
- A mix of upper and lowercase letters
- Special characters
Don’t think for a second that such passwords are bulletproof. They can also be cracked if you aren’t careful with how you create them.
Creating a Secure Password in 2019
The following ten tips will help you create a truly secure password in 2019 and avoid the most common mistakes that lead to breaches.
Avoid simple passwords like the ones on the list above
The fastest way your account will be compromised is by setting a weak password. While it’s bothersome to use all these safety measures like mixing cases and special characters, it’s more irritating to try to cancel credit card payments you never made.
Don’t use simple to guess data
Avoid putting your name, the names of family members, or even the names of your pets because this is a sure fire way to become compromised in record time. Also, never use your username as a password too. That’s another easy guess.
An easy way to recycle a password safely is to switch for a designated number of spaces on the keyboard. For example, if your password was “ThiSisS3cuRe” (This is secure), you can instead use the keys that are one space to the left. Instead of “T” you would use “R” and so on. This will get you what seems like a completely random sequence: “RguSuaA2xzEw.” And yet, you will know how you got it.
Change passwords regularly
Many people experience a breach because they never change their passwords. Passwords get outdated quickly, and as time goes by, what was once considered complex can now easily be cracked and guessed.
Some services prompt you to change your password regularly, which is not a bad idea, but many users then choose a simple password to get it over with. That’s a bad practice, and however annoying you might find it, every password change should have a complex password.
Top Tip: Change your passwords every 6 months and set a reminder on your phone to do it so you don’t forget!
Use a different password for each account
Never use a master password for all your accounts. That increases risk in case of a breach. Imagine your business email or banking information is suddenly jeopardised because you used the same password as on some random and less secure site. Each account should have its own password.
Use randomly generated passwords
Google Lock has a password suggestion mode that offers you to create a randomly generated password instead of thinking of one yourself. This is a convenient service, but it can be hard to remember all such passwords without a system behind them.
Don’t write down passwords
You might find it convenient to write all your passwords on a piece of paper, or in a notepad. Be aware that any type of data that’s not encrypted is not safe. Usually, it’s considered okay for home users to write down passwords on a piece of paper so long as they are kept out of sight (and not taped to the computer!), but never do that at work, or you risk someone using your workstation for malicious intent.
Find a password manager that suits your needs
If you find it hard to remember all passwords, use a password manager. These are pieces of software that remembers all your passwords so you don’t have to. There are free and paid options available, and some are online, others are offline. Go through reviews to find the best deal for you.
The point to note here is that you’re storing all of your passwords in one place, so make sure you pick an encrypted system that is extra secure! if you don’t have enough passwords to use a system like this, it’s best to avoid!.
Develop your very own system to encrypt your passwords. One good way to do this is to have a sentence that will remind you of a password. For example, you have a pet cat and wish to base your password off of it. Instead of using your cat’s name mixed with a few numbers, use a sentence such as:
- “My cat Garfield loves lasagna.” and then encrypt each part:
- My cat Garfield = McG
- Loves = <3
- Lasagna = LsgnA
- So your password will be “McG<3LsgnA”
Use two-factor authentication
Reduce the risk even more and use two-factor authentication in addition to having a strong password. On the off chance that somebody manages to crack your super complex password, two-factor authentication will keep them from doing anything else.
Such authentication is bound to a token or a phone app that generates a random string of (usually) six numbers that rotate every 60 seconds, which are unique to your account. Without this second step to prove it’s really you, hackers won’t be able to access your account at all.
Cybersecurity Rests on You Choosing a Secure Password in 2019
Hackers are finding new ways to get to your data every day. Don’t let your password be the weak link that will give them access to everything else. Want to learn other ways to protect your computer? Check out our latest course here >>> PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER FROM GETTING HACKED COURSE <<<