If you’ve never experienced your computer or online account being hacked, you might not truly appreciate the importance of passwords or you probably have a very strong password. Like it or not, in a digital-driven world, where social media accounts thrive, passwords are now a part of our everyday lives. But oftentimes, we take them for granted in the belief that no one is going to use them to hack into our accounts. Unfortunately, this belief can get us into all sorts of problems, most specifically, identify theft.
You’ve probably heard nightmares about stolen identities, stolen money in bank accounts, and stolen credit card information. The single, largest culprit for these types of thefts is hacked password. Every day, hundreds of passwords are being stolen or hacked. The fact that you haven’t experienced it yet does not necessarily mean that you are safe but one thing is for sure, you are a willing candidate for identity theft if you do not know how to create a strong password.
How to Create a Strong and Secure Password
Fortunately, creating a secure and strong password isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you’re wondering how to create a reliable password, then you might want to consider these tips:
- When choosing a password, make sure that at the very minimum, it is eight (8) characters long. Why does it need to be at least 8 characters? Having this amount of characters will discourage any brute force attacks, as there are simply too many combinations to try, so if you can come up with a password that’s more than 8 characters, the better. But always remember your password.
- Avoid changing your password every so often. You probably might have heard about this advice and that it’s easy to hack your password if you use it for more than a few months but the truth is, the strength of your password will remain as is, no matter how long you use it. However, keep in mind that password security is your responsibility. Never give it out to someone else or leave copies of it lying around for everyone else to see.
- When you’re asked to create a password, use a password with different characters, numbers, symbols, and letter case. The more characters you use and how you mix up the letter case and combinations, the harder it will be for hackers to use a brute force attack to obtain your password. Again though, make sure that you use a combination that will be easier for you to remember. If you forget your own password, you don’t want to be locked out of your own account once you reach the required maximum login attempts.
- Avoid hints and secret questions altogether. The key to securing your password is remembering what it is. If you need to write it down somewhere, make sure you keep the physical copy of it and secure where you store the copy. It would be best to avoid using hints and secret questions altogether. These are ways where creative account thieves commonly use to gain access to an account.
Creating a secure password will protect your data against cybercriminals, but it is not the be all and end all solution. Keep in mind that you can lose all of your data if you don’t take good care of your Mac. And a hard drive crash is almost the same as losing your data or your laptop going up in flames. So, ensure that your Mac is in perfect working order, run cleaning software on a regular basis.