Is your personal information secure? Information, like online banking credentials, are some of the most sought after personal details. And using common passwords like “QWERTY”, “123456” or “Password” make it a lot easier for hackers to breach your information.
Creating strong passwords isn’t easy or convenient, but they are essential to protecting your accounts and information. On average, people have around 90 sites that require a password. 90! That's a lot of unique and complex passwords to come up with AND remember.
It's easy to use the same easy password on every site and not worry about creating and remembering nearly 100 different passwords...until you become the next victim of fraud. It's not easy dealing with all of the inconvenience and hassle that comes along with getting hacked.
Here’s how you can come up with a strong password
Here are a few examples of weak passwords:
- Pet names
- Children’s birthdays
- Consecutive numbers
- The word “password” (c'mon, you can be more creative than this!)
Check out the most commonly used passwords.
Step 1. Instead of using one word that you know you’ll remember, think of a couple words that are personal to you. Try to make it something nostalgic or memorable, but never a person’s name.
For example, I would choose my favorite kind of cake, my favorite childhood activity and an important date, such as my anniversary. This leaves me with: Funfetti cake, riding my bike, and 06/13/08
Step 2. Now use each of the personal items to create one password: FunfettiBike61308
Step 3. The next step is to then replace some of the letters with numbers and characters: F0nf3tt!B!k36!3o8
It would take a computer around 93 trillion years to crack my password!
Step 4. The last step is to remember your password. There are a variety of ways to keep track of passwords. Storing them on your computer alone is not a good idea. If you're locked out how will you retrieve them? If you prefer the good old pen and paper method, write you passwords down and keep them in a safe place. Another option is to store them on a portable thumb drive.
Step 5. After creating that strong password, protect it. If you decide to use auto login on your mobile device it's very important to use a screen lock. The more layers of protection and passwords the better!
Remembering to update your passwords frequently and using these steps to ensure your password is strong will play a big part in helping to keep your online information secure. Let’s do our part to make sure we are not an easy target for hackers!