If you are one of the people that use passwords like “password” or “12345” you should know that it will take hackers less than an hour to figure it out. So how can you make sure your information is kept under lock and key? Read below for tips on how to create the perfect password.
Check your existing password
The biggest mistake people make: using a single word as your main password. Dictionary attacks run every word in a language at lightning speed and can hack your account with incredible ease. Single-word passwords are most at risk. Try adding one or two digits to your password.
Make it long
Experts recommend having a password of a minimum 12-14 characters. Length provides more protection than complexity. Although these are difficult for you to remember, keep in mind that an eight-digit password can be cracked in a few hours.
Use a phrase rather than a word
A password like “Dog” will be cracked instantly, but “ILoveMyDog” can take up to two years to crack. According to some password checking sites, changing it to “EverydayILoveMyDog”, for example, could safeguard you completely from getting hacked.
Use versions of the same password on multiple sites
A standard rule is to have different passwords for your financial accounts, email and social media. Because it is hard to remember different passwords and what account they are meant for, use a long and safe phrase and then include the name of the specific site, e.g. ILoveMyDogLinkedIn. For extra security, use different symbols in your phrase like IL0veMyDxgLinkedIn. This ensures that if your LinkedIn password is hacked, it cannot be used on any other account.
Be clever with characters
A very common trend is to write “a” as @ and “I” as 1 and hackers are aware of this. So simply changing a one-word password like “admin” to “@dm1n” will not be secure. Choose your characters wisely and avoid these two examples
A bonus tip
If your password happens to be one of the following, you might want to revisit the tips.