Whether it’s for your email, financial account, or social media profile, the passwords you choose are critical to data security. Not only will they protect your information, but they will also preserve your digital life, identity, and reputation, so a hacker can’t access your account and pretend to be you.
What are some steps for choosing a strong password? Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember so your password truly protects your accounts.
What Makes a Good Password?
Do use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers.
If your password is short and sweet, it’s easier for hackers to gain access to your accounts. Avoid this by making your password more complex and a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. Also, make sure your passwords are all eight characters long or more. This will make them harder for criminals to crack.
Don’t use the same phrase again and again.
Think a password like “Iloveanimals” is strong and un-hackable? While it’s long enough, it’s also easy for hackers to crack the code using the dictionary-based systems they have. If you want to use a phrase like this, misspell it or use numbers and a combination of upper- and lower-case letters as much as possible, such as “IlUvAnImALZ.”
Do avoid common passwords.
Don’t use the word “password” or easy-to-guess numbers, like 1234 or 1111. If an account was set up for you using these, change your password immediately.
Do use two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication means you’ll sign in with your password, then have a pin code sent to your phone. If a hacker doesn’t have physical access to your phone, they can’t get into your account, even with the correct password.
Don’t use your name or birthdate.
Skip any personal information in your passwords, including an address, anniversary, or Social Security number. Avoid any derivatives of these that can be easily associated with you.
Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts.
It’s tempting, but if a hacker has your password for one account, it means they can access all of them. Instead, use a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords.
Don’t share your passwords.
Avoid sending your passwords to anyone, even someone you trust. Also, change your passwords regularly and ensure you always log out of your accounts once you’re done.
Protect Your Accounts with Secure Passwords
If you’re concerned about your business records and whether they are secure online or on paper, turn to Happy Faces Records Management. Our job is to keep your data and files safe when criminals try to steal them in this digital age. We even offer secure document destruction. Contact us today to get started.