There are many ways to create a secure password in 2020. Let’s face it, most people use the same password for most websites, and a weak one at that. You can test your password strength with Kaspersky or Last Pass.
1 – Use Different Passwords
Do not use the same password on multiple sites. Many people use the same password because it is easier to remember. The problem is if there is one breach, you are extremely vulnerable. There is so many websites that expect us to put in our personal information. It is impossible for every site to be completely secure. That means if one less than the secure site is hacked, all the information you’ve provided them is no readily available to that hacker. Then if they choose to try that password into another site you commonly use, they might get lucky.
2 – Password Manager
Use a password manager like LastPass to manage your passwords. As long as your master password is extremely secure and not used in other locations. Lastpass also is extremely convenient. Allowing you to log in easily with across all of your different websites without having to struggle to remember your username or password.
3 – Randomly Generated Passwords
One aspect of Lastpass is password generation. Lastpass is able to create unique, randomly generated passwords. We know that “mary1234” (3 minutes to hack with Brute Force) is a weak password. LastPass has the ability to generate one randomized such as “FjFNVkew$58239^”(3261 CENTURIES) and remember it for you so you don’t need to. Even simple passwords are hard to remember for every online account and so maintain best password practices can be hard. Lastpass makes that process easy.
4 – Never Share Your Password
Never share your password, especially if you use it on multiple websites. One breach can cripple your entire life and leave you vulnerable to identity theft and many other issues. These don’t quick click and fix issues, they can take years to recover from. It someone gains access to your financial accounts you may have to spend long periods of time to try expunging dings to your credit score. You only have one social security number and things like your Mother’s maiden name or the make and model of your first car don’t change either. Certain personal information like that is all that is required for a third party to open up lines of credit in your name and run of your debt. It may take weeks or months for you to notice these fraudulent accounts, leaving you holding the bag.
5 – Your Information Is Worth Stealing
Underestimating the importance of your security is a major problem. “I don’t have anything worth stealing” is a common thought. Do remember that if someone has your email password, and the answer to a few quick questions about you they can get access to anything. Reset your password on any banking website and you are done for. You may not think you have much to steal, until what little you have it taken. Often times even when you don’t have the funds available they can overdraft your account into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Now, not only what you have it is taken but also owe the bank for what you didn’t have.
6 – Two-Factor Authorization
Use 2-Factor Authorization When Possible. Many sites can link with your cell phone and require you to enter a code before log ins can be finalized. This makes it very difficult for someone that has your password to even log in because you need to authorize that location. This is a relatively new and advanced way to protect yourself. I order for someone to hack into that account, they would need both your password and your physical phone or other hardware. For anyone but the highest of profile targets this is more than enough security to deter 3rd parties from attempting to access your accounts.
7 – Use Special Characters
Always use special characters !@#$%^&*( and alternate capitals / lower case. There are password dictionaries that go through commonly used words and try them in the password field. The special characters help avoid the dictionary from easily being able to find words in your password. A random dictionary account is one of the most common attacks used by hackers. Why is it used so often? Because that user doesn’t take security seriously and that’s all it takes.
8 – Add Unique Characters to Randomly Generated Passwords
You can even add unique characters to the end of your randomly generated passwords. You can use your LastPass generated password and then add a letter to the end of what is generated. For instance, say LastPass generates a password “fjseFnvV342$g432@” which is virtually impossible to crack. However, if someone gets a hold of your LastPass password, you will have a huge problem on your hands. If you systematically add a letter or symbol to the end of each generated password you will be fully protected. By always including an extra character which only you remember, it adds yet an extra layer of protection to an already very secure process.
Using the Google Authenticator is a great option for enabling two-step authentication. Some highly secure websites or software platforms may require usage of it because of it’s security. After logging into a specific website with a traditional password, it will then request a 6 digit pin code. That pin code will change every few minutes and old codes will not be accepted by the site as valid. Anyone attempting to sign into a website without your specific device, with Google authenticator installed, has no chance of getting in.
Creating a secure password is one of the most important ways to keep yourself safe online. If you do shopping or banking, things like this are critical for keeping your information and identity safe.
If you would like to check the security of your computer and speak with a technician for advice feel free to call us at 844-880-RUSH (7874) or join our mailing list to receive updates and tune up reminders every quarter.