Why you need to stop using your ex’s last name as your go-to password.
PASSWORDS ARE FUNNY LITTLE THINGS:
Fragments of meaningful memories of the places and people that we hold closest to our hearts; we use the name of the goldfish from our tenth birthday as our banking password and our high school sweetheart’s birthdate as the password for our eBay account. It’s a good thing that hackers aren’t able to reach inside our hearts and pull out the string of credit card and personal identification information strung together by our favorite hobbies and pets’ names – however, they could instead simply use a software to unscramble our simplistic passwords in a mere moment – and they will. Hackers will eventually break the algorithm that keeps your password safe unless you step away from those personalized passwords and follow the tips bellow.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Never use your dog’s name as your banking, email, and Netflix password – one hack can release an abundance of personal affairs if you use the same password for multiple accounts.
Avoid repetitive sequences, like “3233323” or “xxxxxx,”. Similarly, adjacent letters on the keyboard, like “qwerty” or “asdfgh” are easy to crack.
Develop a password that is more than simply a real word with one letter replaced by a number such as “h0ppy”. These passwords can easily be cracked.
Do not incorporate keyboard patterns and swipes in the formation of passwords
Change your passwords often!
Computer hacking algorithms become more sophisticated every day, so change your passwords every five months at most.
A good way to choose a password that you will remember is to convert a phrase into an acronym. For example, you could change a sentence like “My grand- mother makes the best strawberry jam in Denver” into “MgmtbsjiD.”
Any password is crackable, but longer ones are more difficult to figure out. There are 645 trillion possible combinations for an eight-character password, meaning that this number jumps exponentially each time you add a letter.
Using an Excel file in a program like Google Drive or Dropbox that is cloud- accessible is a safe stowaway for passwords. Additionally, storing a physical copy in a safe place in case of emergency is smart.
Use a password manager
Password Managers help you in two ways:
- You only have one password to remember.
- Most managers include a password generator, which will help you create a secure password.
An example of a password manager is 1Password – it is cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), and more importantly doesn’t force you to store those passwords on someone else’s server, like the program LastPass does.
Passwords protect our identities and our life savings, but most importantly they protect those who are close to us. Because of this, our passwords deserve more intimidating titles than Snoopy1, or Sar8h in order to ultimately protect us from the hackers circling our most precious information.