We need passwords for just about everything in these technology riddled days. I have one for Facebook, Twitter, email, banking, and the list goes on and on. It becomes difficult to remember every last one of these passwords, and like everyone else out there, I try to make them easy to remember. The problem is if it’s easy for me to remember, then it’s easy to be hacked. Here are eight helpful tips on how to make secure passwords.
Use Different Passwords
If you're the kind of person who uses the same password for EVERY login, a major risk is hacking. A hack into an easier account like Facebook will almost definitely lead to a higher risk hack. An easy way to create a password that’s different for all your accounts but you’ll still remember, is to incorporate the website name into the password. For example, you can take the last four digits of your phone number and the website name (facebook1234, 1234twitter, or even e1b2a3y4).
Using Personal Info
Another password no-no is using very personal info. Chances are you can look up your pets name, birthday, kids’ names, your last name, etc. on Facebook. A more secure password is something only you would guess. Try using the first letters of your favorite song, poem, story, etc. to make an acronym out of it. If I used the Beatles song “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the password would be SPLHCB. Add some numbers to this and it would be foolproof.
Some websites will give you a default password to login in on your first go-around. Chances are those sites will use the same initial password for everyone else who signs up too. Take my library account. The first time you log in, the default password is “changeme”. If someone got a hold of my library card number, they could get into my account easily unless I change my account immediately. Get creative with your password. Use your favorite TV show, the first car you bought, or your favorite book as a password idea.
Mix Up Your Passwords
Try using symbols in your passwords. Symbols make it that much harder to figure out and will give you a more memorable password. Your bank account password could be $MakeNThat$ or INeedMore$$$. Also, mixing symbols and numbers as letters into your password is a great idea too. No one will figure out M3@thi$$it3 as a password.
Longer Is Better
Push your words together to make a more secure password. If you need a specific number of characters, this will also help give you a longer password. You can use things like AppleApple or BreadAndButter. Want to make it even harder? Throw that password in reverse. ElppaElppa is much harder than AppleApple to figure out.
Stay Away From Popular Words
Beware of the most common words used in passwords. They are: God, love, lust, money, private, QWERTY, secret, sex, snoopy, and password. These are words that most hackers will try and often get right on the first or second try.
Use a Password Generator
Advanced Password Generator
Free on Google Play
If you can’t think of anything creative to use as a password, this app will do all the work for you. There are 3 different settings to choose from: Random Characters, Memorable Password, or Pronounceable Password. After you select how many characters you want your password to be, it’ll create one for you and even tell you how strong of a password you have.
Keep Your Passwords Protected
Keeper Password & Data Vault
Free on Google Play and App Store
This app allows you to store all different kinds of passwords in one secure place. It’s literally a digital safe. When you first open the app it’ll ask you to set up a password for unlocking the app and you can choose between numbers, letters, and punctuation. Once in, you can set up different folders for all of your passwords. Other features include an Auto-Logout, Delete Database, and even a Self-Destruct feature in case someone tried to get in.
So with all that said, I’m off to update my passwords!