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Key to passwords | Informer. Vulnerability scanner

5 expert ways to create secure passwords

To protect your data, strong passwords are essential. A weak one is an open door to cyber criminals waiting to gain access to your information, steal your data, access bank details and even commit identity theft.

Take a step back and think, how passwords do you regularly use?

  • Accessing your computer
  • Email accounts - multiple!
  • Social networks
  • Online banking
  • Accessing documents
  • Paying bills online

…the list goes on.

There is a simple way to ensuring only you have access – create a secure and robust password. And, where possible, use two-factor authentication where a code is sent to your phone which needs to be entered by you before you’re given access.

Many people do use a strong password, but they make the mistake of using this for all their online accounts. Meaning once a hacker guesses one, they have them all... 

To be truly secure, you should use a different password every time.

Five tips to creating a secure password

1 | Mix it up

Include a mix of numbers, symbols, upper and lower-case letters to make your password harder to guess.

2 | Size does matter

The longer your password, the better. Aim to have 12 characters as a minimum.

3 | Don’t be obvious, avoid common phrases

Common phrases such as ‘I love you’ should be avoided. While you are avoiding common phrases also stay away from family names, birthdays and commonplaces of interest. Attackers could research you on social media sites such as Facebook to find out more about you and try to guess your password.

4 | Use phrases

Open your favorite book at random, flick through the pages and select a phrase. Or think of three or four random words, such as, “elephant and monkey in a tree”, combine them; “elephantandmonkeyinatree”. 

Then make it a little more complex with uppercase and numbers if you’re feeling super-secure. Such as “Elephantandmon3ey!natree”

5 | Use a password manager

Using a different password for multiple accounts also means remembering a lot of complex passwords.

Use a password manager to store all your passwords in one place. This way, you will only need to create one memorable, strong, master password.

Take a look at the following password managers to find a good fit for you:

  1. Lastpass
  2. Dashlane
  3. Keeper Security
  4. Roboform
  5. Firefox Lockwise

How often should I change my password?

The NCSC [1] advice is to keep your password for longer - as long as it’s secure. This is because it’s difficult to create a good password and then remember it. The only time you’ll need to change your password is if it is compromised. However, we heartily recommend changing it every six months. 

Some systems may force you to change your password more often, in which case you’ll have to think of a good, strong password. If your business would benefit from security training, Informer offers bespoke packages tailored to your organization’s pennilessness. 

Contact us for more information.

[1] NCSC

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