Difficult, hard-to-guess passwords are the most effective way to protect your online privacy. Here’s how to create a strong password that’s not catnip to hackers.
Yet, many among us have no idea how to create a strong password. We look around and come up with good passwords that aren’t great…they’re actually easy to guess and not secure at all!
If create a good password that falls under the category of the most common passwords, then there’s some bad news: Obvious passwords are the easiest to hack! Instead, practice good digital hygiene and create a secure password for each online account.
If you’re wondering how to create a password that’s both strong and secure, we’ve got you covered with our tips for passwords. Before we dive in, let’s first look at the worst passwords..so you know what to avoid!
The worst passwords
You’d be surprised to know the number of people who set 123456 as their password. These common passwords are some of the easiest passwords to hack. It’s an open invitation to hackers to come and access your digital information! Don’t be tempted by these top ten most common passwords!
If you’re wondering how to create a safe and secure password, here are the tips that you need to follow to create strong passwords.
How to create strong passwords that protect your identity
Strong passwords protect your privacy and online accounts. But what does it take to make sure that all of your passwords are secure? Follow these rules on how to create strong passwords. ThisStrong passwords protect your privacy and online accounts. But what does it take to make sure that all of your passwords are secure? Follow these rules on how to create strong passwords. This is the single most important thing that you can do to develop effective digital hygiene habits.
1. Don’t use the same password for everything
One of the most common things to focus on is not using the same password for every single account. Even if you have a strong password, having the same password for every account is a risky strategy. If the hacker manages to get through to one account, they’ll immediately be able to access all your different accounts.
To create strong passwords, use a password generator while updating your accounts. There’s no need to download one. If you’re already using the Google Chrome browser, there’s a built-in password generator to use. Also, your password manager makes it super easy to create a secure password.
2. Update your passwords
According to a PCMag survey, 35% of people never change their passwords, unless after a data breach. That’s a huge mistake! Updating your passwords every so often is an easy way to prevent a potential preach from exposing your accounts to hackers.
Of course, if you’re using strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess, you may not have to change your passwords that often. It’s just a good habit to have!
Also, do a periodic review of stale accounts so that you can delete anything that you might not use anymore. Those outdated accounts can also leave you open to identity theft.
3. Always use two-factor authentication
The new standard of security to protect your account or system is two-factor authentication (2FA).
When you activate 2FA, it gives a second layer of security that helps increase protection. Every user needs to go through two new layers of security before they access an account; the first factor is the password and the second factor is the additional security requirement like a text message, email or a 2FA app that provides a temporary login code to confirm your identity.
4. Avoid the dictionary
You’ve seen the list of most common passwords above. People use these easy passwords because they’re easy to remember. That also makes it easy for hackers to crack your accounts. All they have to do is load up the dictionary and use a random number generator to brute force their way in — with a little bit of patience, they may eventually find the right combination of dictionary word and numbers.
To avoid trouble, turn your good passwords into great password by and avoiding the dictionary. Create secure passwords that contain a combination of numbers, symbols, and words.
5. Don’t use personal information
Paraphrasing Vin Diesel in the first Fast and the Furious, you can find out anything about anyone on the Internet. So don’t use your personal information as part of your password!
Easy-to-find information, such as your address or pets name, can make you an easy target for someone intent on hacking your account. All someone has to do is to search your name on a people finder website to brainstorm potential passwords. After accessing personal information, it can be simple for hackers to run a trial-and-error attack.
You can also go a step further and delete yourself from data brokers to prevent hackers from accessing your personal information in the first place!
6. Use a password manager
People choose simple passwords because they’re easy to remember. Hackers take advantage of this and will use brute force attacks to figure out your passwords. That’s why you should always create strong passwords that are unique to every account.
How will you remember all the passwords? Use one a password manager that keeps you organized across devices. You’ll also benefit from the password generator that creates strong passwords automatically for every new account. Check out our list of the best password management apps to help you choose the right one for you!
7. Don’t forget your “security” questions
Most websites ask you to answer a few security questions so that they can verify your identity if you forget your password. It’s a big mistake to answer this with generic words. Use your password manager to create unique strings of symbols, characters and numbers. Then, use those strings as the answers to your questions. That stops hackers from being able to change your password by using easy-to-guess answers!
8. Don’t get lazy!
It’s surprising how many people don’t pay attention to their online security. Setting up a simple password is practically the same as leaving the front door of your house open. And writing your passwords down in a notebook (or sticky notes attached to your computer) is another great way to get hacked!
So don’t get lazy when setting up your online accounts. Use your password manager to create unique and secure passwords for each account. Avoid the most common passwords and follow these tips to ensure that you create the strongest password to maintain your online security!