How to Create And Manage Effective Passwords

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The number of passwords any individual is expected to create, remember, and manage is at an all-time high. In our connected and digital world, everything is online and everything is password protected.

Passwords are great tools used to protect your personal and business online data and accounts. However, it can be overwhelming when you are expected to create and remember different passwords for different areas of your life.

For this reason, it can be tempting to create simple passwords (your pet’s name or child’s birthday), reuse passwords across platforms, or store them on your phone. All these practices are dangerous and can lead you or your business to fall victim to a cyberattack.

Year after year cyberattacks such as phishing scams and data breaches continue to rise. Being lazy with your passwords will likely result in you falling victim to some sort of cyberattack.

How do you prevent this from happening?

By creating strong, diverse, and unique passwords and managing them safely, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of a hacker accessing your accounts.

Strong passwords are:

Nonsequential– avoid using sequential numbers (12345) or letters (abcde) in your password. This can include keyboard pathways such as (qwerty).

Free of Personal Information– Hackers will use any information they can find about you to guess your passwords. Avoid using personal information such as names, pets, birthdays, or the street you live on.

Lengthy- the strongest passwords are 15 characters or more.

A mix of characters– Utilize all characters, including uppercase, lowercase, symbols, and numbers. Add these characters in random order.

Free of common substitutions- when utilizing characters avoid the obvious substitutions such as @ instead of a or 3 instead of E.

Utilize a Password Keeper

Once you have created a strong password the key to managing it safely is to utilize a password keeper. A password keeper is a software that will securely keep track of all your passwords. You mustn’t reuse passwords for multiple platforms which makes a password keeper extra handy.

A password keeper is going to be much safer than storing passwords in a note on your phone or in other unsecured locations. Password keepers use multi-factor authentication which means you will be verified in multiple ways to retrieve your passwords.

Password keepers allow you to memorize one set of credentials to access the rest.

A Common And Effective Method

You may be thinking, those are great rules to keep in mind when creating a password but how do I come up with something that follows them? One commonly used strategy is the Bruce Schneier Method. This is where you come up with a memorable phrase or sentence and turn it into a password.

For example: “I love cherry pie” could become I<3ChP!e or “my dog is a good boy” could become MyDo1s@g0b0

Getting Your Cybersecurity up to Speed

Gone are the days when “password1” is an efficient password (it really never was). The risk of data breaches and cyberattacks is just too high to mess around with weak passwords. If you feel your business needs help in getting up to speed with all things cybersecurity, contact our team of cybersecurity experts at Expedient Technology Solutions. We are a managed service provider in Dayton, Ohio here to help you utilize password keepers, multi-factor authentication, and more to protect your business moving forward.