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How to Create a Strong Password

by Emma Wilson

If passwords were not important, we would not be celebrating World Password Day every first Thursday of May. This is where people and organizations are reminded how crucial it is to create a strong password.

Many people still overlook the dangers of ignoring password protection. Someone may think that their emails are not important and have their cat’s name as the password that is easy to crack.

Regardless of your industry or whether you have any secrets to hide, you should always have a good password and prevent others from gaining access to your information. If you are not careful and someone maliciously gains access, you could end up having someone hack into your accounts and lock you out.

They can also engage in identity theft and steal money if they can impersonate you and log into your bank accounts. If you want to stay safe online, here are tips on how to create a strong password.

Creating a Strong Password

Every password should be different. You need to have a unique new password for all your accounts. This is because if someone gains access to one account, they can crack all your other accounts as well if you use the same password.

For instance, if a hacker can get into your social media accounts, they can also try to access your personal emails and find their way into your bank account as well if all your passwords are the same.

Data Protection

To create a good password, you should ensure that you always use a combination of lower and upper-case letters. You should also include numbers and special characters like “@.” If you are an employer, you want all your employees to be more careful about data protection.

You should always motivate them to change their passwords and generate stronger ones. Otherwise, someone from the outside can gain access to your company’s network, cloud applications, and emails.

People should also ensure that their personal passwords for social network sites should be different from their online banking or e-commerce websites.

Employers should never neglect the importance of password protection because employees typically have access to company websites and apps on smartphones, laptops, and mobile devices that could belong to the business.

Every login gives someone a chance to hack in and destroy your whole network. Then a competitor or someone who wants to bring your business down can access all your data and steal it from you. The names of your customers can be leaked or documents showing how much each employee is getting paid.

This is sensitive information that you always want to keep safe, which is why you need to create a strong password for all your accounts. Then you should push your employees to make this a priority as well, instead of being too relaxed about internet security.

How Strong Is My Password?

Every time you hear about World Password Day, you should take advantage of the reminder to go over the risks of creating weak passwords and how they can jeopardize your personal and professional life.

Business leaders need to go out of their way to implement security awareness training sessions or campaigns that are focused on password protection and the importance of creating a strong password.

You can create posters to remind all your employees about why this matters significantly and how they can start taking steps to better protect themselves and your company online.

If you are wondering how strong is my password, you are already overdue for a change. Think about your current password and how easy it is to remember. If you are able to recall it at the drop of a hat, someone else will be able to as well.

For instance, many people think that using their children’s and pet’s names are great as passwords because you will never forget a loved one. However, this is the most dangerous thing to do because other people will also be aware of your favorite dog’s name and how much the pet means to you.

When a hacker starts cracking your password, the first thing they will do is go through all the names and special dates that mean a lot to you on a personal level. Once they manage to crack a single password, it will be easy to gain access to multiple accounts if you make the mistake of using the same login details for everything.

How to Create a Strong Password?

Now that you are feeling paranoid about your internet security, it is time to start changing your old passwords to choose new securer ones. The first thing you should do is stay far away from sequential letters or numbers. For instance, never use 123456 or QWERTY as passwords because everyone does this thinking that they can outsmart a hacker.

Then you should eliminate all special dates from your passwords. If someone wants to get into your system, they will go over dates that matter the most to you, like your birthday, spouse’s birthday, anniversary date, the day your first child was born, or when you bought your first property.

Meaningful dates in your life are risky to have as passwords because someone can easily get this information out of you. You may not realize if a person is casually trying to find out when you celebrate your anniversary or what your favorite holiday is so they can crack a password or secret question you might have for one of your accounts.

Even if someone does not directly try to ask for this information, they can easily snoop it out from your social media profiles. After all, most people openly share special occasions and post about them online. If your password is the date of your anniversary, anyone you have as a friend on Facebook can guess your password in no time.

Tips for Creating a New Password

The best passwords use a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers. This is often a random combination to throw potential hackers off. People may expect you to have your cat’s birthday as a password, but no one would ever think that in a million years, your new password is N09iV#@23.

This is a great password to have because it does not relate to your personal life that can be discovered through social media. A password like that also has the most unique combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and random numbers that do not mean anything.

Although it is not challenging to create a good password like this yourself, many people use password generators to gain the most unique combinations that no one would ever guess.

Be Random

The more unrelated your password is to you as a person, the better your chances of staying safe online. This is why you should make a list of random words that only you can remember. But make sure the words cannot be associated back to you, no matter how close you are to someone.

For instance, if you want to get hackers to back off, you may want to avoid phrases from your favorite movies, TV shows, and songs. Imagine how easy it would be to crack the password for someone who is a James Bond fan if they have a habit of using JamesBond007 as their login information.

The key is to use three to four longer words to create the best passphrase. You should consider using random words like “spider” or “dog” and combine them as “SpiDerDoG.”

Then add some special characters and numbers. Then this will be a totally unrelated password that no one would think to guess. Always ensure you use both lowercase and uppercase letters because this provides an extra layer of protection when you are creating a new password.

Avoid Dictionaries

Even though you can possibly find the most difficult word in the dictionary, you should stay away from it. This is because you do not want the most complicated password that even you cannot remember. Using a dictionary can lead to using unrelated long words that may slip out of your mind.

Then, you will always have to select the “forgot password” option when signing into your accounts. The best thing to do is use simple words that you can recognize, even if they are unrelated. For example, if you have a coconut tree in the backyard, you can use that as a password, but write it as C0c0NuTtR33.

This way, even if someone does guess the word, they will need to play around to see if there are two words or one. The hacker will also not realize immediately the way you have formatted it, with upper-and-lower-case letters and numbers.

Password Managers

A password manager is a digital gift that no one can resist. These are exceptional tools because not only do they help you generate a good password, but they also help you store all your login details in one place.

This way, you will never forget your passwords and can access them securely from your password manager. Your passwords will also never be weak. They will always keep other people guessing while you browse through your accounts safely and securely.

Avoid Reusing Passwords

Every single website, application, piece of software, or device that you use requires a password. Think about the steps you take to get into your email inbox on your phone. The first thing you need to do is enter a digital code to get into your smartphone homepage.

Then you need to enter your email address and password. You might suddenly have an idea to send a meme to someone over Facebook, so you need to jump on that app and enter another password. Our entire lives are consumed by passwords for everything.

This is how a cybercriminal succeeds in destroying a person’s life. They know that too many people use one or two passwords for dozens of accounts because it is challenging to remember too many things. This is where you need to be extra careful, or else someone can hack into all your professional and personal accounts in a jiffy.

Keep different passwords for all your accounts and devices. Never share these with anyone, no matter how deep you are in a relationship. No amount of love and romance is worth getting hacked and having your savings account drained.

You should also be careful of phishing emails, vishing calls, and smishing texts. Many of these are designed to ask for your personal information, like passwords. Do not write any of your passwords down on a single document that is sitting on your computer or at your home office desk.

Use a reputable password manager and never lose sight of your sensitive data ever again. The password manager will always generate the strongest passwords. This makes it easier to keep track of them all, so you can remember to change them by generating new passwords every few months.

What Not to Include?

When you are creating a new password, there are certain things you should never include. Never mention your pet’s name, birthdays of family members, hobbies, job titles, home addresses, or the names of partners. Most cybercriminals research their victims before the hacking begins.

This helps them weed out the most vulnerable people, especially those who share a lot about their lives through social media. If you keep uploading pictures of your partner and use their name as a password, it is only a matter of time before your account gets hacked. 

Generate a New Password Today

Coming up with a strong password can be incredibly challenging, especially if you have a lot of email and social accounts to access daily. This is why a password manager like LogMeOnce saves the day.

Instead of difficult passwords, you can use two-factor authentication and even log in using photos. This way, your passwords are always secure and away from hackers and cybercriminals.

It is never too late to dive into password protection. Contact us today, and we can help keep all your information safe and sound.