With so many online accounts being hacked it is more important than ever to have a safe secure password
Often for simplicity, we use the same password for multiple accounts. Sometimes we even use the same password for years. This is not safe and it’s a practice you need to stop now.
Here are some of the things people do that are unsafe regarding their passwords:
- Using the same password. As I mentioned above using the same password for multiple accounts is a huge risk. When I wrote the blog post last year about the hacked Yahoo accounts, Even though you may not use Yahoo anymore, it is very easy for a hacker to figure out your username and password if you have been using the same password for years.
- Saving your passwords on your notes app on your phone. This is a huge risk, for many their notes on the phone are connected to the cloud or to a Google account. This means if a hacker gets into one of those accounts they have access to all your information.
- Using different password but are kind of the same. For example, if your password is Computer1 on one account and Computer2 on another, this will be easily guessed and is not secure.
- Using 111111, 123456, qwerty abc123 as a password. If you are one of these people you need to get a new password.
You can check to see if your online accounts have been breached by doing a search on Have I Been Pwned which will give you an analysis of possible breeches to your account. If you find that there are accounts that have been possibly been hacked, change the password straight away.
How to create a good, secure password.
If you have been using the same password for multiple accounts change them immediately. Here are the best options for creating a good password.
Firstly You can check to see how to secure your current password by using how secure is my password website operated by Dashlane, a password security company.
Passwords should not make sense.
Nowadays most websites look for a password with letters and numbers. Using a password like C0mput3r123 is not that great as you are just replacing numbers where letters should be. It is easy for someone to guess this password. You can use Norton Security Password generator to create a password for you.
Another trick you could use is to remember a sentence and use the first letter of each word in order to create a password. Like for example, I could use the phrase “I love watching Netflix on Saturday. It costs me $9.99 per month.” My password would then be ilwNoS.Icm$9.99pm that is a really strong password as it is over 16 characters long and is made up of letters, numbers uppercase, lowercase, and symbols. Again use How secure is my password in order to check whether your new password is secure.
Another option you could use, though I don’t think it is as secure as the above option is to use Diceware. This has been around since 1995. Using dice it puts together random words to create a password. Sometimes this is a good option as it generates words you may not normally use. The current recommendation is 6 words to create a passphrase.
Where to store all your passwords
The problem with these passwords is that they are hard to remember. There are certain companies that will store all your passwords for you meaning you only have to remember one password. Apps such as 1 password or Last Pass offer to keep your passwords safe. Dashlane is a free service that also looks to secure your passwords.
You can always go old school and write them down on a page and keep them in a safe place in your house.
Once as you create a password, Do not reuse
Once as you create your secure password do not use it for more than one account. If you feel like you cannot do that, at least use very secure individual passwords for important accounts such as Gmail, bank accounts, and PayPal. Use another secure password for the rest of your online accounts. Bear in mind if you do this you are taking a risk that if one gets hacked, the hackers may get access to all the other accounts you have used the same password for. You have been warned.