Are Your Passwords a Joke? Time To Do Something About It!

Are you still using “password,” or “123456″ as your passwords of choice? You’re not alone. Those have been the most popular passwords for the past 5 years. If your passwords are weak, resolve to make your passwords strong this year. An excellent article over at the tech website, How-To Geek, tells you how.

Here are a few tips from the article, Your Passwords Are Terrible, and It’s Time to Do Something About It,” on how to make your passwords stronger:

Good passwords are long. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. You should always make your password longer than the minimum password length required by the website.

Complexity. Good passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers, and alpha numeric symbols. Avoid proper nouns, place names, and simple words.

Uniqueness. Don’t use the same password for every site. You can have a bomb-proof password but if a single site’s system is compromised and hackers get it, they can access any account you use it on.

Two-factor authorization. More and more websites are going to two-factor authorization, which requires two different types of authentication to log into a site. An account with two-factor authorization requires a password, and a separate PIN sent to your phone. Even if your password is compromised, hackers won’t be able to get into your account because they won’t have your phone.  Use two-factor authorization if the website offers it.

Use a password manager. It seems like every website requires a user name and password. How do you keep track of all of them?  This is where password management software can be helpful.  A typical password management program installs as a plug-in to handle password capture and replay. When you log in to a secure site, the password manager offers to save your credentials. When you return to that site, it offers to automatically fill in those credentials.  A few managers even have some provision to transfer your logins to a trusted individual in the event of your death or incapacity.

Read the whole article here.