In the recent past, we’ve seen how cybercriminals value your credentials. With advancements in technology, the importance of using complex and secure passwords is growing. You entrust a large amount of personal information to organizations and businesses that can fall victim to data breaches and password leaks. There is nothing much you can do to stop a large-scale data breach. But, you can take preventive measures by crafting robust and complex passwords.
1. Create Strong Password
Your passwords protect a handful of personal information. But data breaches, phishing, malware attacks, and keylogging used by cybercriminals make your passwords more vulnerable than ever.
Let’s discuss how you can create a strong and complex password:
2. Never Use Personal Information
The biggest mistake users make is using their names or the names of someone close to them. Also, you should neither use your address, phone number, or birthdays. This information is available on forms, files, social media and can be accessible to cybercriminals.
3. Never Use Proper Words
Tools that are used for password cracking are effective against proper words. These programs process every word in the dictionary, including letters and number combinations, until a match is found.
Instead, you can use special characters by combining uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and special symbols. Using this method can increase your password’s complexity and decrease the chances of accessing your account.
4. Create Long Passwords
Creating a longer password of about 12 characters includes uppercase and lowercase alphanumeric letters and symbols.
5. Use a Password Generator
You can use a password manager to create a strong and complex password. Most of the top password managers contain a Password Generator to create complex passwords in one click.
NordPass allows you to use the Password Generator feature even on a free version. Also, you can store an unlimited number of passwords on it. You can choose the length of your passwords from 8 characters to 60 characters. You can decide if you want to add uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, symbols and avoid ambiguous characters.
6. Secure Your Passwords
We have discussed how you can create a strong and complex password. But the issue remains how you can store your passwords safely. If your passwords are not stored safely, a cybercriminal can access them utilizing malware or keylogging.
The following mentioned below are some ways to keep your passwords safe and secure.
7. Write On A Piece Of Paper
An extra measure to safeguard your online security, a piece of paper will always be your true friend. You can buy a $5 diary off Amazon, write off all your passwords and store it somewhere safe.
It might look like an old-fashioned method. But if you want to make sure that only you can remember all your passwords, a diary is the best possible option.
Remember that you should never dump that diary no matter if it is not of use anymore. Cybercriminals rummage through trash to get their hands on your stuff. This method is known as Dumpster-diving, and it happens in real life.
8. Update Your Passwords
Changing your credentials every month or after a few months should be a habit. Using the same password for months puts your personal information at risk if a data breach occurs.
9. Use Different Passwords for Different Accounts
Using similar passwords on more than one account is not advised. If a cybercriminal cracks one of your accounts, your other accounts can get compromised. You can use a Password Generator to help create unique and complex passwords for all your accounts.
10. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
By using multi-factor authentication for websites or applications ensure your account safety. Even if a cybercriminal cracks your password, 2FA will ensure that the malicious agent can’t log in to your account. The hacker would need to provide an access code sent to your device via an SMS or an authenticator app.
Enabling 2FA wherever possible is a must. It ensures that only the person who has the credentials and the authentication device can access the account.
11. Protect Your Device
Whether it’s your desktop, laptop, or phone with your login credentials on it, securing your device is essential.
You need to take the below-mentioned steps to protect your device:
Securing a device with a PIN or Password to log in is necessary if you interact with people you do not trust. If you’ve to let someone use your device, make a secondary account and track their usage.
Same as your desktop/laptop, you need to set up a PIN, password, biometric identification. You can even use a third-party app to lock your data in a vault. Also, secure it via another PIN, password, or biometric verification.
It ensures the accidental opening of apps on unverified Networks or Public Networks so that your data never leaks online without your knowledge.
12. Use A Password Manager
If you find it troublesome to remember all your passwords and write them down on paper, there are other ways to store and secure your passwords. There is a whole category of programs free to download onto your computer or your phone. It remembers your passwords for both devices for you are known as Password Managers. “NordPass” is a popular program that comes with a free version. The free version is quite impressive. It remembers all your passwords and auto-fill your passwords or forms in one-click.
A Password Manager can help you in several ways like:
- Password Generation Capability
- Password Health check
- Auto-fill passwords and forms
- Two-Factor Authentication
- Biometric Verification
- Create Encrypted Data
Several Password Managers are available, but the best password Managers need a subscription fee:
Some of the Best Password Managers are:
- Keeper’s Pass
Creating a strong password is necessary, but keeping it secure is a must. The best possible way is to use a password manager to create a strong password and secure it via a password manager’s security features. Using various methods to secure your passwords is a trait of the best password managers.