Passwords are the keys to our online kingdoms. What happens if someone else gains access to these keys? Your IT Security, online Security and in some cases personal security is instantly jeopardised. For the amount of importance a password represents, the fact is that people don't dedicate nearly enough time to creating secure, unique and strong passwords.
From one perspective it's completely understandable, in a report released by intel Security it was noted that an average person has 27 logins that they have to remember. That's a whole load of passwords. The scary thing is that it's not reported how many passwords users have for these accounts and it's most likely that multiple of these accounts share passwords. In the world of Online Security, this is a big no-no.
So how do you create a secure password and how do you remember them all? At the tail end of this article the information is summarised in a nice infographic.
The best practice when creating a strong secure password is to think; bigger is better. Now when we say this we're not talking about just putting in your full name johnandrewsmith123 (that's too easy, hackers are always going to try your name!) You want to create a string of letters, numbers and symbols. If you have any generic passwords, you need to change them now.
For the purpose of this article we'll be running some popular passwords through https://howsecureismypassword.net/. This site exists to demonstrate how quickly your account can be compromised. We'e calculated the timeframes in the graphic below.
Looking at the list from top to bottom, something along the lines of: r45Yh@$11Xcu90% (16 Billion years to hack with a computer) is going to be your best bet. There's a combination of letters, numbers. symbols and it's quite lengthly - this is the optimum password, but how can you possibly remember it?
I was able to create the previous password based on the fact that "In 2016 i Went to See bruceSpringsteen It was Awesome !! I16iWtSbSIwA!! - this isn't something I'm going to forget anytime soon.
There are also multiple tools available that create strong passwords for you, you can just Google it, but the problem you're going to run into is remembering the long string of complicated numbers and letters.
Another really important thing is to have different passwords for different accounts. Think about it you don't have the same key for your house, office and car; imagine if you lost that key. Why is it different online?
I know some people who would rather have their car stolen than not be able to access Facebook anymore! If you have duplicate passwords across multiple sites, chances are if one of your accounts becomes compromised, all of your accounts are susceptible. If someone is after you and theyfigure out your work email password, they're going to guess that your Facebook, Gmail, Bank, Twitter, etc are the same. That's why it's so incredibly dangerous to have the same password everywhere.
There are also tools that you can use to stay ontop of the mess of passwords that we all seem to possess, like OneKey, apps like this can be found by typing password manager into Google. There are alot of secure options available to anyone who is serious about online security and identity protection.
The thing is; while a strong and secure password is a good start to protecting yourself online, it's not enough to guarantee your safety while browsing. There are many different factors that can impact your online security, whether it be online phishing, malware, ransomware, phony websites engineered to steal your information - the list is endless. One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to online security is to exercise caution everywhere you go online and question everything.