We’ve all forgotten our passwords at least once, and some of us still do it repeatedly. Seeing we usually have a few different accounts we manage, be it social media, email or anything business related, juggling various passwords can prove to be a daunting task. However, with so much danger and threats on the internet, it has become quintessential to make every layer of our security as safe as possible, passwords included.
Now, there are some things everybody does when it comes to creating and remembering passwords, and it’s important to note what should and shouldn’t be done. There are very efficient ways to come up with a password that will be tough for cybercriminals to crack and easy to remember at the same time. Here are five simple tips to make your password unbreakable, or at least, less susceptible to brute force attacks that hackers so often perform.
1. Use Long Passwords
This is pretty much a given, but still, too many people opt out for not using longer (12+ characters) passwords because they are not as easy to remember. But think of it this way, the shorter your password is, the easier it will be to crack and expose all your private data to prying eyes. You might think you’ve got nothing of value in your email, but personal information hackers can be used for tracking your friends and business partners and endanger their security as well. As you can see, on the dark side of the internet, it’s never just you that could have problems, but much more can be affected by your lack of security awareness, so choose long passwords to keep you as protected as possible.
2. Don’t Be Predictable With Your Password Choice
Here in lies the most common problem of hacked passwords – they are very predictable to guess. If you use your loved one’s birthday or name, make no mistake, you’re making it very easy for cyber criminals to get what they want. Your name and age are also among the most common things to have a password, and needless to say, that is a no-go as well. Try your best to be imaginative and come up with something that makes sense to you and no one else, like the date of an important event that isn’t common knowledge and even then don’t just put down digits, but mix it up a with letters and special characters, which brings us to our next tip.
3. Use Different Characters
When you’ve got letters with different capitalization, numbers and special characters in your password and you make it long, chances are it won’t budge an inch in front of brute force attacks. For example, you can combine dates with letters by using low-case L instead of dashes to make the password less predictable (14l07l2004) or write words, but substitute some letters with numbers (instead of – Jamie is the best, write something like – J6mi3_ls_th3_b3st) and you’ll get a password that only makes sense to you. As you can see, just mixing up letters and numbers can get you a very strong password with not too much effort.
Cybercriminals have many tools to get a hold of your passwords and you should always keep this in mind. They use advanced algorithms that do the dirty work of guessing your password and the simpler the password, the less time it takes. However, if you come up with your own words, some peculiar terms that are characteristic of your area of expertise, even lines from your favorite songs (abbreviated and changed like we already talked about) you’re upping your game. When a password is something that can’t be predicted (coming up with your own words works very well!) then it’s a greater challenge to crack and most hackers won’t even bother. Like with everything in life, don’t be afraid to be imaginative with your passwords and they will prove to be an excellent safeguard. Of course, there are other ways of keeping you safe, but password is the foundation you should start building from.
5. Don’t Reuse Passwords
This can often be a headscratcher, because having 10+ passwords in your mind isn’t the easiest thing, not to mention that you must know which of them is for which account. Thankfully, there are tools that can help keep both your security and passwords in check like various password management tools. These devices will store all the information, encrypt it and allow you easy access whenever you need your password. There are some password management tools that even generate passwords for you, which is very convenient.
Taking care of your security is common sense and having a high, not easy to break passwords will save yourself from all sorts of trouble you can stumble upon on the internet. With these tips, you will quickly and efficiently improve your password to become as unbreakable as it can be.