Many hackers do not have the ability to work around strong passwords, so make sure that yours is as secure as possible. To help ensure that you are protected, we have put together the following best practices for creating passwords.
Make Sure Your Password is Unique
If you use a password once, it is important to not use it again. You may create the strongest password in the world, but it could get leaked by a website because of their internal weakness. If this were to happen, by not using the same password over again, you can limit the damage that a hacker can do to your overall digital profile.
Password Testing ~ If you’re worried that your password of choice isn’t strong enough, check it at How Secure is My Password?. The site will even tell you how long the average PC would take to crack it. For example, cracking “kroywen” would take 13 minutes, “kr0yw3n” would take about 2 hours, “Kr0yw3^” 15 days, and “MA7ApUp#” about 3 years. One recommended safe and secure option is Norton Password Manager.
Avoid Using Common Words
In order to achieve the strongest password, you should avoid actual words. Random strings of letters, numbers and special characters are much more powerful. Humans can guess words manually, and they don’t even need the sophisticated hacking programs that are available today. Random strings of characters improve your password strength exponentially.
Mixing capital and small letters are better for strength and more characters (eight instead of seven) also make a huge difference. Adding a single capital letter to the end of “Kr0yw3^,” such as “Kr0yw3nZ,” boosts the crack time to 3 years. Throw another special character in (“Kr0yw3^Z!”) and it jumps to 237 years. Test Your Password Now!
Use a Manager for Your Passwords
When you use random strings instead of words, you may have a tougher time remembering them, especially if you have multiple passwords. The purpose of a password manager ( What is a password manager?) is to randomly generate passwords for you and save it in a secure location for you to access. This way, you do not have to remember f@(G5@H92+*jg). Instead, you simply remember one complex password for you vault, and the rest will be waiting for you when you need them.
Two factor authentication, otherwise known as 2FA (What is 2FA?), separates your password into pieces that are more difficult to steal. The two factors may have different input methods (written password and fingerprint, for instance) or comprise two separate inputs (two different passwords).
Frequently Change Your Password
Hackers are trying to break into vaults all the time. They run brute force (What is Brute Force?) programs that will eventually get your passwords if they are given enough time. Every time that you reset your password, you are resetting a clock that protects you. Make sure that you take the time to reset all of your passwords at least once per month and double check that you do not use any password twice at any time for best results.
Tip: Norton (by Symantec) offers a useful and free password generator. It is a useful tool that can generate hard to hack passwords you can generate with a single click. Norton Identity Safe Password Generator
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