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5 tips for password security

World Password Day 2022

The debate within the IT industry continues to rumble on about the validity of passwords but for the foreseeable future they are here to stay – and you need them to be strong to keep you safe.

Online breaches have revealed that the majority passwords are too simplistic and easy to guess. So, how do you make your password strong enough to be worthwhile having and be something that you can remember?

5 Tips To Make Your Passwords More Secure:

Go Long: Some online sites will insist that you need to create a password with a minimum number of letters and/or characters; having a longer password is more secure. Software commonly used by hackers can crack an 8-character password almost instantly, but if you just add two more 10 characters it increases that time exponentially depending on complexity.

Mix It uP: Mix upper- and lower-case letters, but not in a grammatically correct manner. Each key on a keyboard is assigned an ASCII code which means that letters are ‘read’ differently dependent upon whether they are the capital or lower-case version.

Throw in a 9umber: Replacing a letter with a number or sprinkling numbers into your password is a good idea – but don’t fall into the obvious of this being your house number and road. As with our example, 9umber – the ‘n’ being replaced by a ‘9’ – gives you a far stronger password than numBer alone. Add in the advice in the point above, 9umBer is even better although not yet long enough.

Not So Obvious: In the Top Passwords Of All Time countdown, 12345 and ‘password’ continue to reign supreme. Slightly less obvious but still readily hackable is the name of your favourite football team, your pet, or you loved ones. Try thinking of something less obvious; if you still want to include your pet’s name, add in the advice above: !9umBerfiDo is better than just Fido.

Add Variety: Even if you have gone with our advice and are using a password similar to !9umBerfiDo, if you use this for every account you log into it only takes one security breach out of your control for all of your accounts to be compromised. So try using a mixture of passwords for different sites. If Fido the dog has been taken care of with the online shopping account, how about using Felix for Facebook? And move your !9umBer to the end: feLiX!9umBer.

Passwords are a pain, but they are they are there to try and keep us all protected, so ensure that you take the time and effort to make your passwords less easy to guess. And as a bonus point, you need to be changing those passwords on a regular basis. World Password Day is a reminder to practice password hygiene so take five minutes to review your online security and stay safe online.