For the fourth year in a row, 123456 was the most popular password according to a list that was compiled using data from over five million passwords leaked by hackers in 2017.
Sure, 123456 might be easy to remember, but it’s also easy to guess, and it puts your personal data at risk.
After several high profile data breaches this year, including Facebook, Saks Fifth Avenue, Panera Bread, and most recently, Marriott Hotels, you’d think people would get more serious about password security.
Password security is especially important if you’re using the same easy-to-guess password for multiple accounts. At this point, you’re making all of your personal data vulnerable to hackers.
Don’t give hackers easy access to your data, protect your accounts by making your passwords as strong as possible by using the tips below.
Don’t reuse passwords
This might seem obvious but eighty percent of people ages eighteen or older reuse their passwords across multiple accounts.
This is especially dangerous when large email servers are hacked and compromised email addresses and passwords are leaked. For instance, if you use the same password for your email as you do your online banking, you could be in trouble.
Always create unique passwords for each account you set up. Try to steer clear of variations of the same password as well. You might think that adding a number to the same word solves this problem, but it doesn’t.
Use a unique password generator
Having trouble coming up with a unique password for all of your accounts? There are a lot of free tools that will generate long, complex, and secure passwords for you.
Gibson Research Corporation offers a high-security password generator that creates a unique set of custom passwords each time you refresh the page. At sixty-three characters or more, we don’t think these passwords will be compromised anytime soon.
For additional secure password generators, check out this list.
Use a password manager
After you’ve gone and created a unique password for each of your online accounts, go ahead and store them in a password manager.
LastPass, stores all of your passwords for you, so you aren’t stuck jotting down a sixty-three character password in the back of your notebook. It’s a browser extension that encrypts all of the passwords saved in your “vault.”
Once the browser extension is installed, LastPass will ask you to create a master password. The master password is the only way to access your vault – so don’t forget it! If you do have to reset your master password, all of the content in your vault will be erased.
Change your passwords regularly
If generating unique passwords and downloading a password manager isn’t for you, at the very least, you should change your passwords regularly.
For sensitive information, you should be changing your passwords even more frequently. Once you change them, don’t reuse the previous password for a while.
Following these password security tips should help you protect your information and avoid making your data vulnerable to hackers and security breaches.
If you have additional password security tips, please let us know in the comments below.