Create Strong Passwords: A Few Tips

Create strong passwords to use when accessing personal information online.
Create strong passwords to use when accessing personal information online.

In order to keep your online identity safe, you need to have secure access to your accounts and information. Almost all of your information, including social media, banking apps, streaming services, email, and more, are protected with passwords. It is important to create strong passwords to protect your information.

First things first: Do not use the same password for everything.

Every app and every account requires a password, and it can be tempting to use the same password across multiple accounts. However, this means that if someone hacks or figures out one of your passwords, they will gain access to a variety of your accounts. Use unique passwords for each account so you don’t have to fret if one account gets compromised. Write down a physical copy or store passwords digitally to keep track of them. Apps like Keeper allow you to store all of your password information in one safe place. Alternatively, you can even use your web browser to manage your passwords!

Tips: Create Strong Passwords

When trying to create strong passwords, here are some good things to keep in mind:

1. Do Something Unexpected

It is fairly easy for someone to guess passwords that include your birthday, address, name, anniversaries, and other easily accessible information. The same goes for those things relating to family members, kids, and pets. It may be easier for you to remember, but it is also easier for others to find out. Try using information that is harder to find out, like favorite characters, less common dates, or silly nicknames. Better yet, don’t use content that is related to you at all so that it is very difficult for anyone to possibly guess. Stringing together multiple seemingly unrelated words is a good tactic. Use words that evoke a mental picture to try to make it easier to remember. 

2. Variety is Key

You need variety to create strong passwords. Don’t use all letters or all numbers. Instead, you need a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Ideally you would also have some capitalized and some lowercase letters. The more variation in your password, the better. Also make sure not to use sequential numbers or letters in alphabetical order, as those are easy to guess. In addition to variation, make sure your password is fairly long. Longer passwords are much harder to crack than shorter ones. 

3. Update your passwords regularly.

Another way to keep your passwords safe is by continually updating them. Using the same password for long periods of time leaves you vulnerable to hackers. While it may seem tedious to constantly switch up your passwords, it could save you in the long run. 

4. Utilize multi-factor authentication

Consider using multi-factor authentication when possible. This means that in addition to a password, you may also be prompted to answer personal questions, verify through a call or text code, or use your fingerprint or eye scan to gain access to your account. This is becoming more and more popular as technology advances. Biometric scans are great because only your finger or eye can allow access to the information. This means that only someone who is in person with you would have a chance at gaining access. 

When you know the criteria to create strong passwords, it’s is simple! Make sure to prioritize a hard-to-guess password over the personal convenience of remembering a simpler password. Having unique passwords that are long and complex can be more tedious, so be sure to keep track of them in a secure location (written down or in an online vault). Update your passwords and make sure you are keeping your information safe and secure.