The Importance of Having a Secure and Complex Password: The Do’s and Don’ts
Strong passwords are incredibly important. They can protect our identity, they can keep our finances safe and they can keep our most personal files private. They can keep the use of our cell phones and computers out of the hands of strangers and they can prevent someone sending unwanted emails from our email account. A simple password can do just the opposite. At our Montreal Digital Marketing firm, we are extremely aware of the importance of having a secure password for all accounts in question and urge all our clients to create complex passwords during an account setup. Below we recommend how you can increase your chances of securing your online identity through the use of strong passwords.
Avoid Simple and short Passwords
The shorter the password combined with any word found in the dictionary can be hacked by someone who knows what they are doing within seconds. Avoid using full words and short passwords. Passwords that spell out your name with the combined use of numbers such as [email protected] (Michael) are far from secure. So are dates such as birthdays, wedding dates or anniversaries. Even a 12 character password is not enough and a 15 character password can provide far more security than a 14 character password.
A password that combines a variety of characters including numbers, punctuation, upper-case and lower-case letters is considered very secure. Avoid using anything that hints to a word. Using [email protected]_z<<25d as a password is very secure, unlike 123!!321!!.
Set-up a Strong Security Question
Oftentimes we encounter websites that require us to select a security questions and answer in case we ever forget our account info. In most cases, people set up common security questions and answer such as your mother’s maiden name, your childhood best friend or the high school you once attended. Both hackers and anyone who knows you personally can easily figure this information out. Make sure that you use a security question and answer that is as complex as possible.
All Passwords Should be Unique and Changed Every 3 Months
If you have a password that is 15 characters long, includes numbers, punctuation, upper-case and lower-case letters and is paired up with a stellar security question and answer, than you’re on an excellent track to securing your account. However, your online security can diminish within seconds if you use the same complex password for all of your other accounts. You should never use the same password you use for Facebook to access your PayPal or bank account.
The Solution: Use a Password Manager
Another common mistake people make is writing down your password on an easily accessible piece of paper. This increases the chance of family, friends or coworkers hacking into your accounts. Instead of writing your password down, we recommend you get a password manager which stores and locks your passwords behind one master password. In other words, you only need to remember one very complex password to have several highly secure passwords with a password manager. Some great password managers include Last Pass, KeePass, Kaspersky Password Manager and 1password. The majority of these password managers are also compatible with Android and Apple products.
Whether you’d like help establishing a process in creating a secure password for your accounts, are interested in improving your online reputation or thinking of creating a new and secure website for your business, contact our digital marketing agency today.