Gone are the days where a secure password revolved around meeting the bare minimum. Hackers are successfully breaking into social media and company accounts to steal information without breaking a sweat. To combat the alarming issue, go beyond to keep sensitive information away from hackers with a stronger password.
Endless internet accounts—ranging from social media and game sites to job applications and productivity software accounts—have requirements for an acceptable password, usually eight characters with variety. Sadly, eight character password combinations are becoming easier to crack, so the eight character length is not the answer. A strong password is at least 15 characters long, with 20 characters minimum preferred.
Add Character Variety
Numbers, symbols, uppercase/capital letters, and lowercase letters are the ‘character variety’ recommended on many internet accounts, databases, and software programs. Within the long password, mix words with numbers, symbols, and uppercase letters. Two examples are replacing an ‘A’ with the ‘at’ symbol and replacing the ‘S’ with the dollar sign. The word holds the same meaning yet hackers can’t sense the difference.
No Dictionary Words
This is where many passwords don’t measure up. It’s easier to remember a word when the word exists in the dictionary. Hackers and hacking software are sensing patterns in passwords and are using the findings to unlock more passwords across the web. The sophisticated intelligence is discouraging which forces users to throw random characters together. It’s a tough password, but it’s just as tough to remember it every login. Therefore, create random words not recognized as a dictionary word.
The key to remembering a password is the password’s meaning to the individual. Experts advise against personal passwords closely related to your identity that anyone can find online such as name, birthday, address, and phone number as passwords with this information are easier to crack. Instead, experts root for passwords with significance. The motivation can come from a joke, a movie line, a nursery rhyme, a song lyric, industry jargon, or a special memory that only you understand.
In a perfect world, the bare minimum is adequate. Sadly, the world isn’t perfect. Strong passwords separate the user from the hacker. Strong passwords shouldn’t mean impossible for the user to remember, either. The tips above should generate ideas for the perfect password.