October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. In order to observe this national effort to promote online safety, we’re offering tips on creating strong passwords. Password security is often neglected in favor of keeping login details simple and consistent across accounts. This is a dangerous behavior that can lead to identity theft and even harmful consumer debt. With Cybercrime on the rise, it’s time to make password security a top priority.
Password Security Tips
- Length is Critical – Passwords are cracked by computer programs built to try billions of different letter and character combinations rapidly until one works. The longer the password, the more secure it will be. Each additional character increases the possible combinations exponentially. The minimum length of strong passwords is eight characters.
- Complexity is Important – If a password is too simple or doesn’t have many different characters, then the length will not be enough protection. Using a combination of numbers, capital letters, and symbols adds an extra level of password security.
- Mix It Up – With your character variety, be sure to spread out the weird stuff. Don’t just put a few capital letters and symbols at the end. Spread uppercase, symbols, and numbers throughout your password to maximize the benefit of character diversity.
- Use Different Passwords – Now that you’ve created a strong password, it’s tempting to use it in multiple locations. DON’T! Your password is only as secure as the site or account that you use it with. If one site gets hacked, then all of your accounts with that password are at risk.
- Don’t Write Passwords Down – Yes, having multiple complex passwords makes remembering them difficult. However, resetting a forgotten password is a lot easier than paying off credit card debt from identity theft. A better option is to use an online password manager to store passwords for multiple sites.
Cyber Security is a Priority
There’s no 100% perfect way to ensure your passwords will protect all your accounts. Employing these password security techniques does make you less vulnerable to cyber predators. With Cybercrime and identity theft becoming more common, it’s more important than ever to take all the necessary steps to protect yourself.
Those concerned about data breaches or corporate hacking can purchase identity theft protection. These services monitor accounts, alert clients to danger, and aid with recovery. If you notice suspicious account activity, quickly change all passwords and begin the ID theft reporting process.
Whether you’re managing debt or trying to avoid it all together, don’t let a cyber crime set you back!