How many passwords do you use? Your mobile phone, your computer, your TV or Netflix account all require a password or two – even your PIN is sort of a password! Furthermore, how many of those do you type in daily on your computer? Every social network asks you for a password, not to mention your mail and e-banking account. And you have to remember them, day after day, until you go completely blank and can’t seem to remember any of them! How can you keep track of all of these passwords without mixing them and creating login problems every single day? Simple – with an easy-to-remember system of passwords that won’t let you down. But, how easy is it to forget them?
The Basics: How Not to Choose Your Password?
Lots of people use simple words when creating their passwords and it’s these obvious choices that make them victims of cybercrime and hackings. Since they spend almost no time really thinking about their passwords when creating their profiles, they usually type the first words that come into their minds – that’s why “football”, “123456789”, “welcome” and “starwars” are just some of the worst possible choices you can make.
Some of the other things you should avoid are obvious choices like the names of your family members or pets, your favorite band name or novel, the street you live in or the town you were born in, etc. These options make you susceptible to cyberattacks not only by hackers, but by the people you know, too.
Proper Password Choices
So, if you want to be protected, go a step further and add something to your passwords. It’s not as hard as you think – just pick as many characters as you can (definitely more than eight!) and combine them with capitalization and symbols. Combine unusual words and numbers, and try to come up with a solution that nobody could think of – choices like “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious2016” to “nygiantsrule4ever” will definitely be harder to crack than “123456789”.
However, will you remember this system or not? The fact is that passwords are easy to forget, no matter how smart they are and how well your memory functions. The importance of a strong and easy to forget password is even bigger if you use remote login software to access your devices at work or home, so keep this in mind as well when choosing your password. Remember: random unusual words, symbols and numbers are essential for a good password.
What about Password Cracking?
However, no matter how witty and unbreakable your password seems, it’s still vulnerable, but that’s not your fault any more. When sites like LinkedIn get hacked, a huge number of passwords leak onto the Internet and there’s little you can do about it. That’s up to the company managing a particular website’s databases and how serious they are about their security. If they store a large number of passwords unencrypted and only a small fraction of their security gets hacked, things get pretty bad pretty quickly.
The way to feel safer is by encrypting the passwords or not storing them together with the e-mail accounts they’re assigned to. Even if hackers get a hold of your passwords, you won’t be under massive threat if all they can access are strings of random letters, numbers and symbols they can’t decode.
How to Avoid Patterns?
Passwords are basically patterns of letters, symbols and numbers, and can all be broken into weak fragments. So, try to do something unusual – replace letters with numbers, insert symbols randomly or write words in reverse. Or just use a password manager, as it’s much easier to remember one password instead of a dozen.