Having a good password is essential to protect yourself from hackers who might be able to access all of your personal account information. Weak passwords can have serious consequences that can even lead to identity theft.
It can be tedious to think of new passwords for different accounts, and it can be tempting to reset your password every time you forget it. Here are some tips for setting a strong password and login credentials that will minimize the risk of your data being exposed.
Use a password manager or write it down on paper
Password managers are designed to keep track of your strong passwords containing special characters, numbers and symbols, which are eight characters long. These apps work on your phone and desktop. You will need to remember a single password for the app which will provide credentials to access different accounts with individual login credentials.
Contrary to what we were told, you can write your login credentials to different accounts on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe space. It is not recommended to write your password information on Google sheets or Word documents, because if your account is broken into, it can be misused by hackers.
Avoid common words and character combinations
Common words are much easier to guess and will be easily hacked. Avoid using words such as “password” or “mypassword”, including predictable character sequences such as “qwerty”. You should also avoid using your basic public information such as your name, phone number, birthday, pet’s name, birthday, or address.
You can instead use acronyms and shortcut codes like L82day (later today), while using your keyboard to create emoticons with commonly allowed symbols. You can create passwords using a symbol drawn on the keyboard such as the letter W or shapes.
Do not recycle your passwords
Using the same passwords on different accounts is a bad strategy and can compromise all of your personal data if your password leaks, exposing your information on all accounts. Changing a root password by adding or removing a prefix or suffix is just as bad.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is known to provide additional security against hackers who might guess your credentials. The verification code ensures that even if someone guesses your password while logging in from an untrusted device, they won’t pass unless the code is entered correctly.
It is common to receive verification codes via SMS, it can be quite easy for hackers to steal your phone number, especially via SIM Swap fraud and intercept the verification code. A safer way to intercept codes is to use apps such as Google Authenticator, Authy, or Microsoft Authenticator. Once you have set up your browser and device, verification will not be required every time.