Only few decades ago, passwords were these super-conspiratory phrases that were associated with hidden alleys and famous international spies. Today, however, this word has become something so common and mundane, that even an average adult probably uses at least five or six of them on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that people have learned how to make good passwords. They repeat the same mistakes that either keep them away from their valuable data, or make their accounts too easy to crack. With this in mind, here are four bad ideas when choosing a password and few suggestions that can help you make your online persona much safer.
1. Choosing too Simple
A lot of people suffer an artistic blockade when they need to come up with a new password. This results in them going with the first thing that pops into their mind. These are things like anniversaries, names of pets, or favorite book and TV show characters. In other words, passwords that anyone who knows a first thing about them could guess in an instant. In order to keep your password strong, you need to make it a bit unpredictable. Even though you could just scribble a random sequence of letters and numbers, this is a bad idea because it is something you aren’t likely to memorize. To sum it up, keep it simple, but not too simple.
2. Too Few Passwords
Another thing you need to worry about is the number of passwords you come up with. Losing a password is bad as it is, but what if this is a password to all your social media accounts at the same time? Instead of getting just your Facebook hacked, you can have the same thing happen to your Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts at once. The worst part is, you probably won’t even know when all this data finds its way to the dark web. One of the ways to prevent this problem from ever occurring is to find a reliable remote software, or simply use as many passwords as possible. The latter won’t actually protect you, but it can definitely minimize the damage.
3. Secrecy is Key
Keep in mind that the whole point of the password is that only you know what it is. You can come up with the most impenetrable password ever, but if you share it with a roommate, girlfriend, a colleague or a sibling, your password will no longer be that safe. No matter how much you trust your friends and family members, a password is something you should keep to yourself. This is also a two-way street which means you shouldn’t know other people’s passwords either.
4. Focusing on the Word
Finally, many people believe that a password should always be a word and this is what makes them use personal names or objects as a solution. However, there is no reason why this should be so. You could always take a sentence, abbreviate it a bit and make it into a password you will easily remember but won’t be so easy to predict. You could even keep the whole sentence and replace a random letter with a numeral, just to make things a bit more complex. Unfortunately, in some cases you have a limited number of characters you can use in your password.
By avoiding these four mistakes alone, you will make your personal information much safer in the digital environment. Sure, some people may spend millions on improving their cyber-security, but why go to these lengths when your data can be secured with a strong password. While not 100 percent reliable, this is definitely the most cost-effective solution to your problem.