Passwords with a user’s name or their pet’s name can make it easy for cyber criminals to hack as a lot of personal data is available online.
One of the surest ways to protect yourself from data leaks and security hacks is by setting up a strong password. But most people keep the bar too low, making it easy for hackers to find their way into user’s accounts. As passwords are a key aspect of our digital identities, it is important for us to set them up strong and keep them safe.
Passwords with a user’s name or their pet’s name can make it easy for cyber criminals to hack as a lot of personal data is available online. These simple passwords can make accounts vulnerable to security breach.
We share tips from top cybersecurity firms on how to create a strong and secure password. It is important that users don’t share their passwords with anyone, particularly over text, email or any other online platform.
Cybersecurity firm McAfee suggests people to use personal preferences that aren’t well known to create strong passphrases. They can also create passwords with random numbers and characters.
So, if someone likes crime novels, they could make ‘ILoveBooksOnCrime’ as a passphrase. Some letters can be substituted with numbers and characters, and other parts be capitalized to read something like: ‘1L0VEBook$oNcRIM3!’.
Cybersecurity company Avast suggests users to have long passwords, include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and (whenever possible) special characters like “#”, “$”, and “&”.
If users need to add personal information for security questions, they can choose answers that are difficult to find online.
It is also advised users to never reuse passwords for different accounts as with access to one password, hackers can get their hands on thousands of them, leading to a potential large data breach.
For those who do not wish to create passwords on their own, they can use password manager software programmes to create random passwords for different accounts and store them. Users can also add multi-factor authentication, an additional layer of security, to protect personal data.
McAfee noted that if a website or monitoring service warns that a user’s details may have been exposed, they should change the password immediately.