Making Passwords Simple Without Compromising on Security
In insight / By Charlotte Tobulevicius / 27 June 2019
Advice around making passwords strong is something we should all be used to by now, but many of us are still using passwords which are easy to crack. To add insult to injury, we’re even using the same password for several applications and websites, putting us at a significant risk of being hacked on multiple accounts.
Creating strong passwords that protect you and your business doesn’t have to be a taxing process and can actually be relatively simple. We’ve compiled our top tips for simplifying passwords, locking down your accounts and making sure you don’t forget them!
A passphrase is a type of strong password that uses a short sentence or random sequence of words, as opposed to a complex password that can be hard to remember and difficult to type. A passphrase is generally much longer than a traditional password which makes it tougher for a hacker to crack.
An example of a secure passphrase would be ‘comprise-break-main-edition’. This passphrase makes no sense and is estimated to take 388,999 centuries to crack, according to useapassphrase.com. To put this into perspective, it can take as little as 27 milliseconds to crack a memorable password to you; for example, the name of the family dog.
Some websites will ask you to use numbers, uppercase letters and symbols in your passwords which is fine, but you should still try to incorporate a long passphrase where possible. Best practice would be to opt for a passphrase that also includes numbers, symbols and uppercase letters to ensure it is super secure.
General advice is to use different passwords for each account you are logging into, but it can be hard to remember and keep track of them all. Therefore, many of us still use one password for everything with the mindset that “it won’t happen to me”.
Cyber criminals simply need to hack a website, steal your password and then use it to log in to other sites you use, and it’s far more common than you think. Visit www.haveibeenpwned.com to see if any websites you use have been hacked and your password potentially stolen.
Using a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane to securely store your passwords is a great option for those who have trouble remembering passwords. By utilising a password management platform, you will only need to remember one password: the one for your password manager account. Once logged in, the password manager then retrieves your passwords whenever you need them and logs into websites for you.
Password managers can store memorable information, keep answers to security questions and warn you if you reuse a password. Some platforms also have password generators which create super secure passwords that you don’t even need to know as you’ll be automatically logged in through your account.
As well as using strong passwords, two-factor authentication is ideal for adding an extra layer of security when logging into websites or applications. With 2FA, you will need to have a password and a numerical code which is often generated by your smartphone or sent to you via text message. This process may seem longwinded, but it ensures that even if a cyber attacker gets hold of your password, they still can’t log in to your accounts.
2FA is simple to set up and you usually only need to do it once when you sign in from a new computer or device. Several businesses and websites are already making it compulsory for users to set up when logging into their systems and you can even set it up with a password manager account, making you even more secure.
Following these simple steps can really help to protect both your personal data, and any personal information you work with. We think it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Contact us to find out how we can help you and your business stay secure and protected.