Best Practices For Strong Password Security

Passwords are an important and omnipresent part of our lives. You need a PIN or password for everything and everywhere these days. There are so many required that it is almost impossible to keep up with what they are.

You often forget to update the important ones and when you do you struggle with coming up with ones that are effective that you can remember. Therefore, before you know it, months, or perhaps even years go by, and you have the same passwords.    

Even though you may know the best practices for strong password security, you still procrastinate. Everyone knows this is not good, but, at times it beats the irritating process of creating a password and going through the memorization process.  

There is good news! Passwords do not always have to be a set of elaborate cryptograms. Some simple techniques can assist with life and password memorization a bit easier.

In this post, you will learn some simple strategies to create passwords that you can remember and not stress over.

Why are Passwords Necessary

While passwords are annoying, this is true; people take them for granted. It is vital that you remember why you need passwords and why they are essential. Having a strong, effective word is sometimes the only defense but for sure the first against intrusion.

They protect your personal information—the kind you do not want just anyone and everyone knowing. In your personal life, that means private documents, health data, and financial information.

They are very important when it comes to protecting your digital accounts and devices including your iPhone, Mac, iCloud account and more. If you have a weak passcode for your iPhone anyone can gain access to it. Same is true for iCloud, if someone can hack into your account they can gain access to valuable data such as your photos, contacts, emails, notes and more.

Password Cracking or Hacking is a Huge Business

Even though passwords are a critical part of system security, breaking or cracking them happens relatively easy. Password cracking is the course of breaking or figuring out passwords to gain unauthorized access to an account or system.

It is a lot easier than what the majority of users would think. The difference between hacking and cracking is people hack machines where the crack is codes.

How to Choose Good Passwords

Now that you understand the importance of passwords, you need to learn techniques to create strong, secure passwords.

To develop effective, strong passwords it is helpful to remember some of the techniques people use to crack them, so here are some things NOT to do when orchestrating your passwords.  

Think about it, imagine if someone broke into your email and had access to years of stored information from names, credit cards, etc. Speaking of email, this is a great article on email security.

No Proper Nouns, Foreign Words or Dictionary Words

As mentioned above, tools used for cracking are incredibly efficient with processing excessive quantities of number and letter combinations until finding a match for a password is successful. That is why users need to avoid using traditional words for passwords.

However, on the other hand, you should avoid common words with a number added to the end of as well as general words written backward, such as “nimda.”  Words such as these may be hard for people to figure out, but they are by no means a match for the monster force attacks from password cracking tools.  

No Personal Information

One of the most aggravating things pertaining to passwords is they be simple to remember. Naturally, therefore many users incorporate their personal information in with the passwords.  However, it is disturbingly easy for hackers to gain personal information about their potential targets.

That is why online security and safety professionals recommend users not to include personal information in their passwords. That means your password should never contain anything the slightest bit related to your username, name of a pet, family member, or a nickname.  

Also, your password should never contain easily identifiable numbers such as addresses or phone numbers or anything someone could decipher if he or she were to pick up your mail.

Length, Width, and Depth

A password that is effective and strong needs some serious complexity. The three aspects that will assist you with creating this brute is length, width, and depth. Length refers to the longer you make your password, the harder it will be to crack.

Width is the various types of characters you should use. Add special characters and numbers such as “! # %.” and use upper case and lower-case letters.   

Depth denotes picking a password that has a challenging meaning – something hard to guess. Think regarding passphrases instead of words.

Changing and Storing Passwords and PINs

So, if this a no-no or not? To guarantee ongoing effectiveness, you should change your passwords on a regular basis. Never let those who have no business knowing your password watch you write it down or see where you keep your information hidden.

It depends on the account for how many times you need to change the password. You need to change your online financial accounts once every month or two. Corporate passwords, once every three or four months.

The trick is not to be lazy and to always use good judgment. Changing your passwords is simple and fast versus the option of combating identity theft. Clearly, passwords are just one piece of the pie.

A great way to store and access strong and hard passwords is to use apps like LastPass or 1Password that remember passwords for each of your accounts and let you access them securely.

Having a better understanding of password security will help you secure your pertinent information and keep your world a lot less chaotic.    

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