Would you leave your important financial information online without password protection? Your answer is probably a resounding “no”. What you may not know is that using passwords like “QWERTY”, “123456” or the very inconspicuous “Password” make your secure information a ticking time bomb waiting to be breached by hackers.
Creating strong passwords isn’t everyone’s forte’ and remembering strong passwords can be difficult, but if you aren’t using them, you’re hacker bait! Hackers are quietly skulking through the Internet hunting for their next victim and if your password isn’t strong, you may become their next target.
Here’s how you can create a strong password:
-- Simple passwords may be easy to remember, but they are not keeping your information secure. Examples of weak passwords are pet names, children’s birthdays, consecutive numbers or the word “password”. Check out the most commonly used passwords.
-- 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
-- Now use each of the personal items to create one password: FunfettiBike61308
-- 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!
-- The last step is to remember your password. Sites like 1Password will remember all of your passwords easily and securely in one location and you can give it a free 30 day trial to see if you like it or not. If you prefer the good old pen and paper method, write you passwords down and keep them in a safe place.
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!
Written By: Brooke Thomas