Creating a strong password is an essential step to protecting yourself online. Using long and complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cybercrime. No citizen is immune to cyber risk, but being cyber-smart can minimize your chances of an incident.
Creating a strong password is easier than you think. Follow these simple tips to shake up your password protocol:
• Do not include personal information in your password such as your name or pets’ names. This information is often easy to find on social media, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack your accounts.
• Use a long passphrase. You should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. For example, you can use a passphrase such as a news headline or even the title of the last book you read. Then, add in some punctuation and capitalization.
• Avoid using common words in your passwords. Substitute letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter “A” and an exclamation point (!) can replace the letters “I” or “L.”
• Get creative. Use phonetic replacements, such as “PH” instead of “F”. Or make deliberate, but obvious misspellings, such as “enjin” instead of “engine.”
• Keep your passwords on the down-low. Don’t tell anyone your passwords and watch for attackers trying to trick you into revealing your passwords through emails or calls. Every time you share or reuse a password, it chips away at your security by opening up more avenues in which it could be misused or stolen.
• Unique account, unique password. Having different passwords for various accounts helps prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach. It’s important to mix things up—find easy-to-remember ways to customize your standard password for different sites.
• Double your login protection. GFI Digital can help you enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in.
• Utilize a password manager to remember all your long passwords. The most secure way to store all of your unique passwords is by using a password manager. With just one master password, a computer can generate and retrieve passwords for every account that you have – protecting your online information, including credit card numbers, answers to security questions, and more.
Source: Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency