At Fyde, we block thousands of phishing attacks every week. Shared or hacked passwords are directly linked to more phishing attacks that can successfully trick your friends, family and colleagues into financial and reputational damage. As the average business employee has to keep track of nearly 200 passwords, it is no surprise that 81% of security breaches employ stolen passwords.
Strong passwords ensure that your email, photos, banking apps and other confidential and private data are safe and secure. Weak passwords enable viruses to gain access to a device and potentially compromise security of other connected devices at home or at work. Attackers may also send malicious emails from your accounts, making you patient zero in a cyber crime outbreak within your social circle.
You may already use a good password manager tool that helps you create and store strong passwords, however we recommend that you consider the following suggestions when creating your next password.
1. The longer, the better
Your password should be at least eight characters long. Longer passwords are better because if someone aims to crack your password, it will likely take more attempts to figure out your password.
2. Make it diverse and different
Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, number and symbols for increased password strength. Don’t use letters or numbers in a sequence like ‘123456’ or ‘qwerty’. Some hacking tools include dictionary-based systems, so avoid using the correct spelling of words when creating a password. Also, change letters into numbers, e.g. “for” into “4” and so on.
3. Create your own password formula
A mundane task such as creating a password can be creative. Forget about using your name, surname, mother’s maiden name, address, company name or your pet names, phone numbers, birthdays or social security numbers are a bad idea as well. With a few minutes s of “online research,” the majority of these secrets can be revealed.
Create your personal password formula to make your passwords as unpredictable as possible by combining a combination of symbols, letters and numbers in an order which makes sense to you. Choose random words, song lyrics, favorite poems, games, or movies that you don’t like and combine them with numbers, spaces and symbols. Don’t forget to misspell a word or two!
Your password sanity checklist
For general password creation best practice and good “hygiene”, remember the following:
● Don’t reuse passwords for multiple accounts. One password leak can lead to hacks into other accounts or systems.
● Don’t share your passwords with anyone or leave unattended if written down.
● Change your passwords regularly, especially if your account has been previously hacked.
● Use password manager tools to create and store passwords.
Security is only as good as your weakest link. Don’t make your password the weak link.