An average Internet user has about 200 passwords to use and remember. It’s an enormous number, and hardly are you ready to sit and write them down on paper. Instead, we ease this job in any possible way. This means, though, that passwords become simpler and more vulnerable. How do you secure your passwords? Here are some tips that may help you with it.
Even if you think there is nothing valuable for hackers in your account or conversations, that’s wrong. Your account may be of various sorts of interest: hackers may want to use it as a bot for spreading misinformation, signing petitions, voting on social media, and so on. Another use is refining their algorithms. Finally, you never know who is interested in harming you or spying on you. So, your account is of the biggest value possible – for you. That’s the way you should always treat it.
How to Make Your Passwords Strong
Specialists recommend seven steps that help you manage your passwords better:
· Check this list of the most popular passwords. If your password matches any of them, ditch it and invent another one.
· Don’t reuse passwords. Most attacks are automatic. Once a password clicks on, for example, your email, it’s added to the base, so the hackers can apply it to your Facebook or bank account.
· Don’t build passwords on your exposed personal details. They are very easy to learn from your social media or from your documents if someone has access to them. Your children’s names, your favorite football club or rock band, your birth or wedding day – forget these.
· Invent a rule to generate different passwords. The author of it uses the following algorithm: any password consists of a static and a dynamic part. The static part is based on the author’s documents: something one knows by heart but even the family members usually don’t remember. The dynamic part is derived from the name of the service the password is made for. So, this password is extremely hard to guess for someone else but easy to recover by the rule even if you suddenly forget it.
You can, of course, invent your own rules to make passwords memorable for you and unguessable for others. More than that: if somehow one of your accounts is hacked by algorithms, its password won’t work for others.
· Check whether your passwords have been exposed and change those that have immediately. If you store your passwords in, for example, Google Chrome, it will notify you about any leak that contains your passwords. This leads us to the next step…
· Do you really have to store your passwords in a cloud? Well, they are encrypted, and what Google or Microsoft wants the least is a class action in case of a leak. But if you do dare, pay even more attention to news about exposed passwords and change each one that has leaked.
· Use a reliable password manager. Old is gold: the longer a service has been around without reputational losses, the better.
How Else Can You Protect Your Data?
A good password is good protection. But it’s not everything you may need to protect your account. Here are some other recommendations for strengthening your security:
· Never write down your passwords.
· Never tell your password to anyone. Even if you want this person to access your account after your death. There are better ways to grant it.
· Use two-factor authentication. At least, for the most sensitive data.
· In messengers and other apps that support end-to-end encryption, activate it.
Do you know any other tips on securing your passwords and personal data in general? If you do, share them in the comments. This will make this article and the whole world a better place!