Tomorrow, May 4th aka Star Wars Day also falls on “World Password Day”, a global initiative to promote better password habits and raise awareness of the importance of securing your data online. Passwords are the first line of defence against cyberattacks, identity theft, and data breaches. It is a reminder to every one of the importance of creating and managing strong passwords for their online accounts. But how do you create, remember, and manage strong passwords that can keep your data safe?
Here are best practices that you can follow to improve your password security:
- Use a unique password for each account. Do not reuse the same password for different websites or services, as this can make it easier for hackers to access multiple accounts with one breach. If you have trouble remembering all your passwords, use a password manager to store and generate them securely.
- Make your passwords long and complex. The longer and more random your password is, the harder it is to crack. Avoid using common words, phrases, or personal information that can be easily guessed or found online. Instead, use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Change your passwords regularly. Do not keep the same password for too long, as this can increase the risk of exposure or compromise. Aim to change your passwords at least every six months, or more often if you suspect any suspicious activity on your account.
- Use a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is a sentence or a phrase that is easy to remember but hard to guess. For example, “I love pizza with pineapple and ham” is a better passphrase than “ilovepizza123”.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code or use a device in addition to your passphrase. For example, you can use an app like Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator to generate codes for your accounts.
- Avoid using common or personal information in your passphrases. This includes your name, birthday, pet’s name, favourite movie, etc. Hackers can easily find this information online or through social engineering. Also, avoid using reusing the same password by incrementing a number at the end or patterns like “password”, “qwerty”, or “123456”.
- Do not share your passphrases with anyone. Even if you trust someone, they might accidentally leak or lose your passphrases. If you need to share access to an account, use a secure method like a shared password manager or a temporary guest account.
By following these tips, you can make your online accounts more secure and protect your data from hackers. Remember, World Password Day is not just a day to celebrate passwords, but also a day to act and improve your password habits. Happy World Password Day!
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