Imagine you have a storage locker. Inside that container is your entire online life: your work, your money, your very identity. The only thing keeping the bad guys out is a lock – your password. Would you want a flimsy, rusted out padlock or a top-of-the-line, super-secure lock?
A strong password can very effectively protect your online accounts and assets. In honor of World Password Day, we’ve gathered some of our best password advice and resources for you. It’s everything you need to create hard-to-guess, hard-to-crack passwords.
Don’t Use a Password from the Naughty List
You probably already know that using “123456” or “password” as your password is a bad idea. But did you know that passwords like “1qaz2wsx” and “bailey” are also weak?
Every year, SplashData analyzes millions of leaked passwords to reveal the most popular (and worst) ones for its annual Worst Passwords List. If your password shows up on this list, change it ASAP.
Anatomy of a Strong Password
Realizing you don’t have a great password? The good news is you can start upgrading your passwords right away. Back in October – Cybersecurity Awareness Month – our own Paul Hager sat down to explain what makes a good password. He reveals simple ways to create your own strong password.
Is Your Password Strong Enough?
There’s a super easy online tool that can answer that for you.
Simply enter a password and this tool will tell you how quickly it can be cracked. The longer it takes to crack, the more secure the password. Plus, it gives you suggestions for strengthening your password. Don’t worry – any passwords you enter into the tool won’t be stored or sent over the internet.
Improving Your Password Security
Here’s an even deeper dive into the world of passwords. Get a breakdown of password best practices from Dale Harkness, a former ITP team member and all-around cybersecurity guru.
Reusing Passwords is a Huge No-No
Roughly half of us will use our business email address and business password in a personal account somewhere else on the internet. Even if your company’s security is phenomenal, it can’t prevent employees from using their business login credentials on websites with poor security where their information can be stolen.
That puts your entire company at risk of being hacked. It can also result in some serious embarrassment, like when some government employees were busted for using their official government email addresses to create accounts on a porn site.
You should never repeat passwords, either in your professional or personal life. The more often a password appears across the web, the more likely it is to end up in hackers’ hands through data breaches. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of passwords you have to remember in your daily life, use a free password manager like LastPass or Dashlane.
Enable 2-Factor Authentication for Added Protection
Think of 2-factor authentication (2FA) as a second padlock on your container. It’s one of the best ways to protect your accounts. 2FA adds a second step to your usual log-in process.
Once you enter your username and password, you take one additional action depending on the type of 2FA you use. It could be entering a code sent as a text message or accepting a prompt on your smartphone. All in all, it’s just a few extra seconds. Read more.