Out there in cyber space, hiding behind every digital corner, there is a festering network of hackers and malcontents. They lurk like hungry hyenas, waiting to savage the weak, steal their identities, empty their bank accounts or (gasp!) binge watch on their Netflix accounts. What can be done? Who do we turn to?
Wait. There is hope. There is a protector, a fortress, a bastion of security whose name is spoken about in hushed tones around dimly lit screens the world over. It’s your knight in shining armour, your bulwark, your defender. It’s… your password.
The password may seem like a pretty nondescript and unessential entity in your life, but we cannot over-emphasis how important it is. Weak passwords are a massive security risk on a personal and a business level. They are the only thing between all your information and all those hackers with bad intentions. Who if given the chance, will literally ruin your business or your life.
How to Increase Your Password Security
So, how do we buff the armour of our valiant knight and maximise password strength? Well, for a start, here are a few things to avoid:
– Stay away from words or word pairs that appear in the dictionary. Hacker software can test the entire dictionary in no time at all
– Don’t use your name, your dog’s name, Grandma’s name, your jilted ex-lovers name or the name of your favourite sports team
– Don’t use your birth date, graduation date, car rego number or anniversary
– Keep clear of sequences like 2345 or ABCD
– Common words such as ‘love’ or ‘monkey’ may be easy to remember, but they’re also easier to crack. Avoid them.
– Don’t share your password. If you really really have to, change it as soon as possible.
For a stronger password, do this:
– Take the word or phrase you like, removes spaces and spell it backwards. So Daisy Hill becomes llihysiad. Then capitalise one or two random letters: llihYsiaD. Then change a couple of letters for numbers: 11ihYsiaD. Then add some special characters: %11ih-YsiaD! According to www.howsecureismypassword.net, it would take a computer 4 billion years to crack that password
– Use multifactor authentication, which means there is an additional step between entering your password and accessing your account. This could be a text message, a notification on another device, or an email
– If you can, use biometrics. This is where you log on with a fingerprint instead of a password. Most smart devices these days have this option.
Passwords are like… Underpants
Eric Griffin from PC Mag kinda summed it up best when he compared passwords to your underwear. You should change them often, never share them, and don’t leave them out for others to see. Maintain an element of mystery about them! It’s a fun way of looking at it. The best advice we can give is not to be complacent – stay alert, keep up to date with security trends, and never underestimate the importance of your password!
Any questions? Get in touch!