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Friday, June 11th, 2021

Make strong password management a priority

Good password hygiene mitigates risk

According to research, the majority of people use simple and easy-to-remember passwords because it is convenient. You must remember that if a password is easy for you to remember then it is easy for a hacker to crack and therefore leaves you highly vulnerable to a data breach.

NordPass’s 200 most common passwords of the year for 2020, which is based on analysis of passwords exposed by data breaches reported that passwords such as 123456, picture1, password, 123123, 1234567890 and 111111 still rank in the top 10 of commonly used passwords globally.

As your computer stores and provides access to a lot of sensitive and important data, it must be a priority to keep this data and all of your accounts safe.

We have oulined the top 5 actions you must implement in both your personal and professional life in order to dramatically help achieve stability and protect against imminent threats online.

1. Change your passwords at least once every 60-90 days

If your account gets hacked, changing your password regulary reduces the risk of hackers accessing your data as the password will be outdated by the time they get to use it.

2. Use strong passwords

Use long passwords or passphrases that are complex and combine uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The best passwords are long (more than 16 characters) and completely random. Length is the primary factor when creating a strong password; the longer it is, the more ‘guesses’ will be needed by hackers to get it right.

Using a passphrase over a password will give you maximum security for your account. But make sure the passphrase you choose is easy-to-remember and complex as well.

3. Never reuse passwords

Even if you have a strong password that might take a hacker 10,000 years to crack using brute force, you shouldn’t be using it for every account you have—even though it might be easier to remember. 

Use a separate password for each service you use. Generally it is not possible to keep a log of all your passwords and so using a password manager makes generating and storing your passwords much easier.

4. Be careful where you enter your password

Beware of entering passwords on websites that don’t show the lock indicating that traffic is encrypted or opening links that you get via email. With hackers using advanced tools to steal the data, it’s imperative to follow the right web security measures. Build a defense system by installing a proper antivirus and anti-malware software on all your devices.

Also, make sure that you update these software applications regularly for complete protection.

5. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

When you don’t use it, you make it that much easier for malicious actors to gain access to your accounts. A layered approach to your password security will help achieve stability and protect against imminent threats.

There are plenty of 2FA solutions available—from RSA tokens to mobile apps—but it depends on your or your organisation’s needs.

A dedicated password manager is a great way to help you generate secure passwords and stores them in an encrypted form giving you easy access to your passwords at all times, across all devices.

If you think one of your accounts has been hacked, it is good practoce to change all of your passwords immediately.

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