Contrary to popular belief password management is quite simple. All you need is to learn a few tricks. Let’s review what should be avoided when creating a strong password:
Don’t Using Common Words or Phrases. These are susceptible to both human and computer-based dictionary attacks (e.g. password, iloveyou, 123456, qwerty).
Avoid Dictionary Words. This includes words from any language (using multiple words mushed together is okay, more on this later).
No Repeating Characters. These are quickly hacked by automated programs (e.g. ababab, 111111).
Ditch Replacement Characters. Looks alike numbers or symbols for characters is no longer strong enough (e.g. p@$$w0rd, m1cr0s0ft, sw33t).
Avoid Personal Information. Names of family members, friends, pets, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers and license numbers.
Check for Compromised Passwords. If your password exists in any compromised password database, it should be changed. Resources are listed below to help identify if any of your accounts are compromised.
Do Not Reuse. Each password for every account should be different.
Sharing is Bad. Never share your passwords with anyone else.
Avoid Writing Down Passwords. This includes books, scrap paper, and under your keyboard.
If random passwords are used for each site, the chances of a compromise decrease dramatically. However, a password like p7gNh$aT730&(8)@dr is not memorable and hard to type. This is where the password manager really shines. Not only will it remember these long and random passwords, but they will create them for you as well. Password managers make creating strong, random passwords for each site a very easy task to achieve.
Passwords are the keys to your digital life. Passwords are the keys to your digital life that lock the doors to your personal information, digital resources and finances. Traditional and weak passwords can be cracked in less than a minute! By using these steps to create and maintain strong passwords is an easy step you can take to help protect those precious resources.