How safe are our online passwords?

Password pic

The majority of us will use a password online every single day. Whether it is for logging into emails, online banking, using social media or doing some online shopping. But just how safe are the passwords that we use.

 

Lots of people still use basic passwords for many of their online accounts including ones such as ‘123456’ or ‘Password’. These make it far easier for someone to hack into your account and are often the first thing they are going to try due to the fact that they are still so commonly used. Another common mistake that the majority of us make is using the same password for numerous accounts, once a hacker has gained access to one account they will try using the same information for many other accounts too.

 

The best passwords are something that’s easy for you to remember but difficult for someone else to guess. However this can be easier said than done. Many people struggle to remember one password let alone numerous different ones for all their different online accounts. Some people advise you to write down your passwords but keep them away from your computer, phone, tablet etc. However maybe a safer option would be to use a password management software, programs such as Password Safe or KeePass will allow you to store all your online passwords in a secure database making them accessible by one master password meaning you only have one to remember.

 

So what makes the best passwords?

 

  • Try using an acronym. Such as ‘I left St. Johns Primary school in 1987’ would become the password “Ils.Jpsi1987’
  • The best passwords contain numbers, upper and lower case and symbols
  • The longer the password the better it is

 

You can also use software such as Diceware to help you create a completely random password. This involves rolling a dice and matching numbers to words on a list.

 

Remember the longer you use a password the more unsafe it becomes, its advised that you change your passwords every month but at least every 3 months in order to make them as safe as possible. Lots of well known websites also offer a 2 step verification to ensure you are the correct user. This involves you entering your password then being sent a verification code via text, which you must enter in order to log in. So even if someone gets hold of your password unless they have your mobile phone too they will be unable to log in.

 

There are many ways we can make our passwords safe enabling us to use the Internet without the worry of other people getting their hands on our personal and private information.

 

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