One of the biggest threats to your online security, is the use of weak or poor passwords. It doesn't matter how secure a website, or program is, if the a weak password is used, your account can easily be hacked.
Below are some tips for creating stronger, more secure passwords
- Use a password with at least 6 to 8 characters. The more characters in the password, the more combinations there are, making it more difficult to hack it. For example, if a password only allows upper case letters, a four character password would have approximately 450,000 combinations, if it had six characters there would be approximately 310,000,000 combinations, and if you were to use 8 characters, there would be approximately 210,000,000,000 combinations.
- Use a combination of numbers and letters, and use a mix of upper and lower case letters. This also increases the number of combinations. For example, if a password only uses upper case letters, a four character password would have approximately 450,000 combinations, if it uses both upper and lower case letters there would be approximately 7,000,000 combinations, and if numbers were included as well, then there would be approximately 15,000,000 combinations.
- Add a special character. This again increases the number of combinations, and reduces the risk of a dictionary attack.
- Change your password every few months. This way, if your password has been discovered it will eventually be changed.
- To create passwords that you can remember, use a phrase you can remember, and then take the first letter of each word, then append a number to it. For example, the phrase: This is a password phrase. could give you a password like Tiapp123.
- Use a Password Manager, like PWMinder, to help you remember, and keep track of your passwords
- Don't use password as your password (you'd be surprised how many people do that)
- Don't write your passwords down, or store them unencrypted on your computer.
- Don't use a word or name that is personally associated with you, such as family member's name, birth month, city born in, etc. If a Hacker can find some information about you, they will try to use that information to guess your passwords.
- Don't use common words. These are easily cracked using a dictionary attack, where hackers will attempt to find your password by trying all words from a common list of words in a dictionary.
- Don't use the same password for all of your accounts and websites. If one of your passwords were to be hacked then the hacker would immediately know the password for all of your accounts and websites.