Securing Your Passwords Online
Tips For Securing Your Passwords Online
In January, we take time to raise awareness about Data Privacy Month. Technology moves at a fast pace, and it’s important to stay abreast of the changing online landscape for your personal and professional safety. Today we share some refreshing tips for staying safer online with your passwords.
We’re sure you’ve heard countless times, to never give your password out to anyone, and to not make your password something easily guessed, like “password” or your pet’s name. It can be difficult keeping multiple different passwords in your head, or written down (uh oh). Here’s are a few tips that can help you practice safety when online.
What Makes A Secure Password?
As time goes on, it gets easier and easier for people to try to steal passwords. It’s important to create passwords that are long, unique, and have special characters. These are the usual tips you may see when creating strong passwords:
- Has at least 12 characters –the more the better!
- Contains numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters
- Avoid dictionary words, or combinations of words
- Don’t rely on obvious substitutions (Red vs R3d)
While these tips are useful, you may just wish you could generate a password that meets all of these requirements, so you don’t have to rack your brain for the best, secret combination.
The good news, you’re not alone! It can be difficult creating, and then remembering the various passwords you set for your suite of online accounts. Our next tip may help you both create secure passwords, in addition to storing them securely.
Consider Downloading “Password Management” Software
It’s not a great idea to re-use one password on multiple sites.
It’s also not advised to store your passwords somewhere people could potentially find them, such as a post-it note, or a spreadsheet, or on a note in your phone.
So how do you create multiple secure passwords, store them securely, and not have to remember them all the time? The secret, is investing in the use of Password Management Software.
Over time, tech companies have responded to this growing need of needing to keep passwords, safe, secure, but accessible. Several different types of similar software exist to keep passwords and other sensitive information such as credit card information safely stored online for you to use quickly and easily.
Many of them include a feature that lets you automatically generate random passwords when you need them. You can specify length, special characters etc. as you need. Saving your new password and account information is just a few simple clicks.
Many popular password management software come in the form of an extension on your browser.
It’s your own personal, encrypted (secure!) database of your passwords. You can specify which websites you use, and what credentials you use for them. So when you need to login, you simply click a browser extension and your username and password instantly populate the necessary fields.
A quick search for “Password Manager” should give you a suite of companies to compare. Most applications (LastPass, BitWarden etc.) have a free service for single users.
Enable 2-Factor Authentication Wherever You Can
Two-Factor Authentication is a process that requires you to first login with your username and password. Then, after entering this information correctly, a secondary verification is needed in order to access your account. Usually this occurs as a code being texted to a cell phone associated with the account. Other methods include independent 2-Factor Authentication Apps that work in a similar fashion.
This greatly enhances security on your online accounts, and makes it harder for people trying to steal your data. We highly recommend using 2-Factor Authentication wherever possible!